Phoenix @ South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
Phoenix, everyone's favorite non-Arizonan, indie band, made a stop at the South Side Ballroom to tour off their upcoming release, which shares the same namesake of the tour, Alpha Zulu. This seventh album continues to build on the momentum that was created with the release of their hit album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, an album that propelled the band into what I would call indie band super stardom. Making numerous festival appearances and headlining larger clubs and theaters, the French quartet (six while on tour) have become a mainstay in the indie scene due to their creative songwriting, catchy hooks, and fun-filled live shows.

Performing in front of a giant LED screen the width of the stage, the band hit the ground running, opening with one of their biggest hits, "Lisztomania"; the ole Killers' tactic, playing "Mr. Brightside" as the show opener and engaging their fans to absorb their newer material. But they didn't stop there, performing two more popular singles in "Entertainment" and "Lasso". If you were ever trying to make a first impression, this certainly was one of the better starts to a show I've seen in some time. While some fan favorites started the show, make no mistake, this show was meant to showcase Alpha Zulu, which provided six of its ten tracks and having the most songs from any album in their catalog.

While there's not a whole in terms of production, the LED panel behind the band actually had some pretty awesome visuals. But with a band that's been producing music for nearly 30 years, production comes second and the music comes first. The band sounded tight and was unexpectedly louder than I remember, but the songs were presented in the best way possible: sounds better than the album version. Newer tracks like "After Midnight" and "Tonight" were quintessentially Phoenix from top to bottom, making your head bob and getting that one foot tapping. Fans also got their fill on some of the older hits with "Armistice", "1901", and snippets of "Too Young" and "If I Ever Feel Better". The ended with Alpha Zulu's closing track, "Identical", which felt more like a bookend to the show than a bombastic ending to the night, ala "Clearest Blue" by CHVRCHES or "Knights of Cydonia" by Muse. But for a band like Phoenix, it felt just right ending with a song that sounds like their own indie sub-genre, giving a solid period to an overall awesome set, not needing the exclamation point that some bands rely on.

Photos of the show are below:

Phoenix @ South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX Phoenix @ South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on October 17, 2022 Rating: 5
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