Today is the day everyone! Phantogram are back with new music after a year of making music and touring with Outkast’s Big Boi in their side-project Big Grams. Today the electro-pop duo released their third studio album appropriately named ‘Three’. As exciting as it is to get new music from one of our favorite bands, this album came from a sad place.
Earlier this year vocalist Sarah Barthel’s sister Becky passed away tragically and although band-mate Carter is not related to Barthel, having been friends for most of their life they both feel as though they’ve lost a sister. In interviews Sarah has said that this record “is about heartbreak” and that “the overall message is about how tragic life can be at times—how the world can bring you down… But you have to try to find the beauty in it sometimes.”. This brings to mind the theme of my favorite film ‘American Beauty’ which is that we want to be angry about the bad things that happen to us but it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sidenote: I will take any chance I get to talk about American Beauty (sorry not sorry). Back to Phantogram…
It feels like it’s been AGES since Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter (aka Phantogram) started teasing that they were working on something with Outkast rapper Big Boi on Instagram in the way of very promising photos with not much to the captions other than “in the works” and “coming soon” (not soon enough Sarah and Josh, not soon enough). Pure torture is what those pictures were. Not only do I love every piece of music Phantogram has delivered to my eardrums, but then there’s Outkast. Oh Outkast, a very important piece of the puzzle that is the soundtrack to my youth..you feel me? (Of course you do).
I don’t know about you, but I had always been hesitant about going to a concert alone. I mean, I’d wondered Lollapalooza solo before..but that’s not quite the same. A few Sundays ago one of my very favorite bands Phantogram played a show at The Ritz Ybor in Tampa. I had bought my tickets weeks in advance, hoping I could find a buddy who actually liked Phantogram to tag along. Unfortunately my friends don’t seem to have very good taste in music and no one wanted to go. I was faced with a decision, miss seeing one of my favorite bands or go see them but possibly feel awkward. Guess what? I went to that concert and had the BEST time! I was nervous for sure and standing around waiting for the bands to come on was totally weird (thank god for cell phones) but once the concert started everything was great! The best part about being at a concert solo is getting to dance and flail and whip your hair all over the damn place because, who cares? You’ll never see these people again (in most cases).
The opening band Bad Things was great! I had only ever heard their song “Caught Inside” (which I love) and I really like all the other songs they played, their album is definitely worth a good listen. The singer was VERY flaily, which was entertaining. At one point he hopped into the crowd and kind of purposefully ran into people..pretty sure the majority of the crowd didn’t know whether to cheer him on or call an ambulance (he seemed pretty out of it..see video). Meanwhile Continue reading