By Jarred Tito
Artist: The Phoenix Foundation
Date / Venue: Friday October 2nd, 2015 - The Powerstation, Auckland
I've heard about The Phoenix Foundation and have followed their music for some time, admiring them from a distance in this wee small country of ours, New Zealand. I have always appreciated their musical talent, not so much as a dedicated fan who possesses every piece of music that they have written, but as a distant appreciator of what can be made of music in this country, and in particular - made in the windy city of Wellington. But for the first time I can now say with at least a thousand other fans, that I have experienced first hand the mastery magic and soulfully composed experience of PF live and in the flesh at thePowerstation. And oh, what an experience it was!
When the guys took the stage at Auckland's renowned musical watering hole, the crowd began to stir with a cocktail of enthusiasm, admiration and anticipation spiked with a small dose of adrenaline, which kicked off what became a sensational night for PF and the launch of their new album, Give Up Your Dreams (GUYD).
Taking the stage with uniform collared white shirts, they opened with Mountain, the first track on their new album, which quickly found a place in the hearts of the audience who eagerly devoured this new offering with gusto. This was followed up with a series of songs from the new album which I'm sure for many other bands might have been a move too risky as I would imagine most would want to give the crowd some well ridden favourites and warm them into the new material. For me, the choice to launch into their concert with the GUYD album was an exceptionally clever and enjoyable move. I was immediately taken into the Phoenix realm. And if we're honest, being at a PF concert, and I can say this now because I have now been to one, is more about the whole experience and journey as opposed to a string of pop songs being fired out at the audience.
I actually likened their performance to something much more tasteful and thought out like something you might have experienced at a Pink Floyd concert during their ‘hay day', which shows the band's class and maturity with every song noting their skills in penmanship and beautifully strung together musical arrangements.
Of course there was also a full compliment of classic and well know songs which took the eager crowd to heightened levels of euphoria with tracks like Jason and Buffalo. This left the crowd spellbound at the end of a much deserved encore which, I have to say, closed out a simply exhilarating and memorable ‘first experience' concert. Needless to say, I would strongly recommend their new album, as I believe it is possibly some of their best work and a nice way to ‘pop' your Phoenix Foundation cherry for those new to the experience.