By BRENT ANGELO //
It might have been a normal, rainy night in Portland, but was no ordinary night inside the Crystal Ballroom. Phantogram was in town to support their new cd, THREE.
The Crystal Ballroom was packed, sold out for weeks and fans were ready. Phantogram has been enjoying the success of their current single “You Don't Get Me High Anymore”, have hit the road to support their new record and Portland would be one of the first shows. As the lights dimmed, a scrim screen displayed slick imagery in front of the band creating a sense mystery putting the spotlight more on the songs than the band themselves. The new song “Funeral Pyre” would lead off the set. Phantogram’s music filled the venue and the visuals only heightened the musical experience even more.
“Don’t Move” and “Black Out Days” would follow, but when the curtain finally fell for “You’re Mine”, Portland was indeed theirs. Sarah Barthel showed her singing power on while also tackling bass and keyboard duties throughout the night. Joshua Carter rocked his guitar parts solidifying his importance in the overall sound of the band. Joshua also had some shining moments on vocal duties as well. In the encore, he showed his own vocal strength with another new tune, “Barking Dog”. The set list would be heavy in new tracks now officially available, but the band didn’t forget their roots playing songs like “Mouthful of Diamonds “and “Futuristic Casket” from their first record. The band as a whole sounded tight and were dialed in. Phantogram is a band that continues to evolve and explore. This is a band on the rise for good reason.
Fans in attendance will one day look back and be thankful for getting to see this group in such an intimate setting. Phantogram ended their show with the much anticipated “You Don't Get Me High Anymore”. This song’s recorded version was made better by its live version. For example, if you look up the soundtrack for the Showtime original series Roadies, you will find Phantogram who make an appearance on the show. Their live performance soundtrack version from the show is its definitive version. Phantogram’s music pulls you in, takes you to another place, but in the live environment is where it all comes together. The drugs may not do it for them anymore but they left Portland on a high note for sure.