Concert Review: Phantogram @ Red Bull Sound Space
By: John Barnum
Red Bull Sound Space at KROQ
24 February 2014
After cursing your GPS and driving around in circles for over an hour, you catch a glimpse of a sign that appears to read “KROQ” obscured by a building and several trees. Upon pulling into the gated parking lot you see the entrance to KROQ studios hidden deep within an alley way; this is where the magic happens. Entering the building you are faced with an array of lockers; completely befuddled by this scene, you are then led to a secret room concealed by an ominous black curtain. Once within this dark chamber you are suddenly bombarded by a multitude of sounds emanating from a single beam of light in the front of the room. Enchanted by this celestial tune, you are scarcely bothered by rubbing elbows with forty other people or time itself. As soon as you were conveyed into this covenant you are quickly evicted, leaving you in a shell-shocked trance for the following week. This would be the account given by any lucky spectator granted the honor of witnessing Phantogram play the Red Bull Sound Space at KROQ on Monday, February 24th.
Phantogram played many songs from their second album, Voices, which was released earlier that week on the 18th. This show was a very, very private venue and the only way to get admittance was through invitation, winning a contest, or being a writer for USD radio. Don’t feel bad if you thought your invitation was lost in the mail, there were no more than forty people allowed in and the show was only 45 min long; however, that 45 min felt more like three minutes and 44 seconds. Because the show was indoors, the sound was bounced off the walls of the tiny room passing several times through the bodies of the onlookers of the crowd. For this same reason the bass of the performance could be felt in both the bowels and lungs of the spectators, making it feel as though the music was truly a physical part of them. This made it even harder to let the band go when the performance ended.
Any position in the show was the front row; literally, the sweat could be seen coming off Sarah Barthel. The show was so intimate that attempting to touch the performers by reaching over the stage, would just seem weird because it was assumed that we were all already friends. As stated earlier, the show ended fairly quickly as the dynamic duo fled through the back door and the audience followed in vain. After the show ended, however, KROQ, was gracious enough to provide every audience member with his or her own poster of Phantogram, stating the date and venue of the show so that we could all say “I was there!”
This magical afternoon was provided by Red Bull and KROQ studios.
Red Bull is also supporting the upcoming Wings for Life World Run, a first of its kind running race organized to raise awareness and funds for spinal cord injury research. The event will take place on May 4, 2014 in 35 different locations around the world, simultaneously (down to the second). One hundred percent of registration fees go directly to the Wings for Life foundation to fund research. Santa Clarita, CA is just one of three U.S. locations hosting a race. For more info and to register: http://www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/en/