Photos and Review by Jennie Book

Fans at the Warfield in San Francisco were the lucky recipients of being one of just three stops on the last gasp of Phoenix’s Alpha Zulu tour, with frontman Thomas Mars saying mid-show, “We won’t be seeing you for awhile,” which received an immediate crowd chorus of sad boos. But on a mild spring night in these hallowed venue halls all was right with the world and the Warfield crowd felt privileged to be in front of top-of-their-game Phoenix.

Mars, plus bandmates Deck d’Arcy, Laurent Brancowitz, Christian Mazzalai, plus touring musicians Robin Coudert and incredible drummer Thomas Hedlund, belted out favorites like “Lisztomania,” “Trying To Be Cool,” and “1901.” The crowd got a surprise during the encore when Mars announced it was his wife’s birthday and had the crowd sing “Happy Birthday” to her – her being a smiling Sofia Coppola. He then went into “Honeymoon / Fior di Latte” which is reportedly her favorite song and some say hasn’t been played live for years. He also acknowledged many in the crowd who’ve been traveling around from show to show – he called out to one fan “How many shows? 90?” 90 shows. These are the kind of fans Phoenix has.

A high point of a live Phoenix show is the stage set and lighting, and the Warfield show was no different if maybe to a slightly smaller scale than recent performances. LED spotlights, constant strobes, and projected backdrops of scenes from outer space and ancient Rome added to the depth and visual interest behind the band. After the very last song, Mars picked up his signature red long-cabled microphone and made his way onto and through the packed show floor, giving thanks and getting up close and personal with his fans. Then on his way back to the stage he stopped in the middle of the happy throng and climbed onto a pair of shoulders so that he was spotlit and standing above the people, in the people, to say thank you and goodnight.

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