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Published on Jun 22, 2009
As the band build momentum with "Love Like A Sunset, Part 1" which they perform herein with a rolling Feelies-ish tone that makes for a nice variation on the album version, the lead singer, who looks kinda like Monty Python's Eric, lays Idle, throbbing under the red light, glowing like an ember in the Tennessee night -- the stage is actually thumping wildly because of the hard stomping of musicians keeping time amidst the chaos that is life onstage.
Ultimately he rises like a, uh, Phoenix and "Love Like A Sunset, Part 2" feels more like a midnight sunrise, marking the dawn of a beautiful new day right in the middle of the night...When they hit their stride on "1901", all those chiming guitars needed were some sleigh bells and it woulda been Christmas under that Tennessee moon, albeit with a rail-thin Santa Claus, wading into the crowd with a reprise of the "falling, falling" chorus, capping off a brilliant set which proved once again that anything is possible on this stage -- make it That Stage, where I've filmed some of my very favorite shows at Bonnaroo over the years...there are just some places where magic happens and That Stage at Bonnaroo is a place I'm sure I'll leave a few ghosts.
Talking to folks in the crowd, I was surprised at how many persons who love the new Phoenix album hadn't heard the first, which remains for this fan a stone cold classic -- their repeat to form on this third LP has made for one of the nicer musical moments of 2009...I gotta give it up to them for staying on the case.
It's that time of the year again so watch this space for more images and video from Bonnaroo 2009, which -- tick bites notwithstanding -- was bloody brilliant. Watch this in full screen, high quality (hit the HQ button) if you can.