Just a little over one year ago, Phoenix released its sixth studio album Ti Amo and celebrated with a headlining set at New York’s Governors Ball. Now, to commemorate the LP’s one-year anniversary, the French indie-pop band converted Brooklyn Steel into its own version of Little Italy — complete with a gelato cart — for an Italian-inspired five-night residency.
The Ti Amo takeover included a light redesign of the space, most easily done by way of washed out, pastel-colored posters that made guests feel as though they had walked into a supermercato instead of an edgy NYC venue. There was limited-edition merchandise, specialty cocktails and, most fun of all, a Phoenix-branded vending machine that dispensed pins, patches CDs and more.
But, not even gelato or new merch could distract from the night’s main draw: a hits-filled set list from the French alt-rock veterans. Throughout the show, frontman Thomas Mars not only ensured that the crowd had the best time ever, but also made his own entertainment a priority — evidenced by his desire to saunter through the entire crowd (not once, but twice).
From performing fan favorites to keeping the show going past its scheduled end time, here are the best moments from the final night of Phoenix’ Brooklyn Steel residency.
— The band wasted no time diving into its more well-worn hits. After fittingly opening with the new set’s title track they delivered a pleasing trio of turn-of-the-decade favorites “Lasso,” “Entertainment” and “Lisztomania.” For the chorus of the lattermost, Mars was quick to pop out his in-ear monitor, swapping his role as lead vocalist for the role of conductor, and treated the screaming crowd like his choir.
— The already-strong set list was only elevated by the captivating light show that accompanied it. On “Trying to Be Cool,” a rainbow-colored sheet bathed the packed floor, an on-brand color scheme considering the band’s own rainbow-themed adopted logo.
— Older tracks were made to feel new again by merging them with more recent jams: “Too Young” off the band’s 2000 debut Untitled melted into “Girlfriend” off 2009’s breakout Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. And that wasn’t the only time early material made it into the show: The pairing of 2000’s “If I Ever Feel Better” with 2000’s “Funky Squaredance” served as the set closer.
— The best medley of all almost went unnoticed. The set list included the song “Sunskrupt!” — a blissful fusion of the two-part electro-jam “Love Like a Sunset,” off Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, with “Bankrupt!” off 2013’s album of the same name.
— Once Phoenix had waved goodnight and left the stage, they waited the appropriate amount of time — until the cheering and applause became thunderous — to return for their six-song encore, most of which Mars spent snaking through the crowd that had become intensely quiet while he sang “Countdown” into fans’ faces. He proceeded to surf the crowd, drink from someone’s cup and, as a final hoorah, started a mosh pit before making his way back on stage for the band’s last bow — at least, for now.