Rising in the charts since their 2014 performance at USC, Phantogram made their way back to Los Angeles to perform a sold-out show at the Hollywood Palladium Tuesday evening. The band performed alongside opener The Range, an experimental electronic DJ hailing from Pennsylvania.
Phantogram is an alternative pop duo from Saratoga Springs, New York, formed by childhood friends Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel. The two started in 2007 by collaborating on songs in their hometown — soon, they began to perform together around New York. The two originally called themselves Charlie Everywhere as a joke. Yet as they continued to perform, their popularity spread and they eventually changed the name to Phantogram, which captures their dreamy, ghost-like sounds. Their style can be easily compared to other dream pop groups like Sylvan Esso, The xx, Glass Animals and The Naked and Famous.
Since the group’s inception in 2007, Phantogram has released four EPs, including Phantogram and Running From the Cops in 2009, Nightlife in 2011 and Phantogram in 2013, as well as three albums, including Eyelid Movies in 2009 and Voices in 2014. Phantogram’s new album, Three, is set for release Friday.
The new album will be an evolution of the duo’s sound and will take a much darker route from what fans are previously used to. Three will feature singles such as “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore,” “Cruel World,” “You’re Mine,” “Run Run Blood,” “Same Old Blues” and “Calling All,” which were perhaps released early to get fans hyped for the fall tour.
“We try and put on a really good live show,” Josh Carter said in an interview with AZ Central. “And I think that translates and makes people excited to come the next time we’re in their hometown. The new live show is gonna be ridiculous… I’m stoked.”
Ridiculous, it was. The live show encapsulated Phantogram’s magical and beautiful style, with haunting scenery to go along with their dream pop sounds. Their set started with geometric projections that were carefully crafted to hit a scrim in front of the stage, giving the audience a seemingly floating and ghostly image to go along with the popular hit, “Black Out Days,” from their sophomore album Voices.
As the night went on, the performance got more intense, with eerie shadows, fog and projections to complement Phantogram’s dark style. The duo performed a new song called “Destroyer,” a haunting melody that was captured in front of flame projections with singer Sarah Barthel cloaked on a platform surrounded by fog, creating an illusion that she was on fire.
Other highlights included the emotional new song, “Cruel World,” which utilized the scrim and projections to create unreal phantasmal images that looked like white spirits floating around the stage.
Phantogram finished the night strong with a red hot performance of their single, “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore.” As a result, the audience began to dance to the cool rock-and-roll melody, closing out an unforgettable night.