Greenwich, New York duo Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, better known as Phantogram, took to the stage with their eclectic mix of electric/rock/hip-hop sounds at the historic Fox Theater in Pomona, California Saturday night.
It’s the last weekend of Summer, there's an occasional breeze, which is nice and the weather is actually a perfect 63 degrees tonight. As I make my way to the venue, I notice the nightlife here in downtown Pomona is just getting started. The theater is surrounded by local restaurants and bars, perfect for a bite or beverage before the show. There are small groups of people making their way to the Fox.
The doors open at 8:00 pm tonight but already punctual fans were inside the theater and continually making their way in for the next hour. I'm sure they were looking forward to seeing Phantogram play as its been about two, maybe, three years since their last tour.
Just a few minutes after 9:00, Hana Vu, who is the opening act for Phantogram begins to play. Vu is a Los Angles musician who wrote her first song when she was about 12. Hana's got a deep, melodic, soulful voice backed by a dream pop mix of beats, synths and guitar that she produces herself. She's got quite a steady following of monthly followers on Spotify and has even caught the attention of Willow Smith and Tegan and Sara. Definitely worth checking out her latest album, ‘How many times have you driven by’.
Its 10 p.m. and just as punctual as the fans earlier, the lights go off and the center stage lights up. The fans start to cheer as one by one Sarah and Josh walk onto the stage. They meet at the center, face each other and ‘News Today’ begins to play. You can hear Sarah softly begin to sing and Josh play the guitar.
Throughout the night that shadow play of lights and the changing virtual screen backdrop would make for a visually mesmerizing performance. Once the intro was over, they wasted no time in transitioning into the hits like, Black out Days, Run Run Blood, You Don’t Get Me High Anymore and Mouthful of Diamonds. During songs Barthel would occasionally play the synths and pick up and play the bass. It was about six songs into the set that we got our first taste of new music with, Into Happiness and a little later, just released this August, Mister Impossible. The set was comprised with a mix of all three of their albums, EP's and new singles. The tour wraps up tomorrow in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Life is Beautiful festival. There's still a chance to see Phantogram before the years end though. They will be in Bilbao, Spain beginning of November, Mexico City mid Nov. and San Diego, California the end of November.
Though there hasn’t been a confirmation about a fourth album, lets cross our fingers that 2020 will bring some more new Phantogram music and shows.