May 11, 2011

Phosphorescent - Red Palace - May 10, 2011

Love Them Foolishly

One thing that was evident Tuesday night at the Red Palace - Phosphorescent tours incessantly.  Here's a band that's been to DC three times in the last twelve months alone.  And while frontman/brainchild Matthew Houck's voice was stretched a bit thin, he and the band were very well rehearsed.  They could've played that show blind, drunk, kidnapped, potato-sacked, you name it.  This was probably not their best live offering in recent months, and I took off points for the stage presence and sound.  The Red Palace is somewhat of a unique performance space - the stage is very high, but the room is long, not deep.  And given the location of the speakers, it was very difficult for the board engineer to adequately separate the monitors from the club speakers.  As was evidenced by an unquenchable guitarist, constantly pointing at instruments and then alternating between the floor and the ceiling.  The sound guy did his best, but the guitarist was right, it sounded a little off.

On a positive note, the setlist was relatively diverse and the crowd was extremely well-behaved. The set focused on the band's last album, taking it easy. The band stepped out mid set to give Houck a little alone time with the audience, who ate it up eagerly. It was nice to be in a quiet and respectful crowd, especially compared to many 930 club attendees.

In summary, this show was middle of the road but ultimately enjoyable. If you're a fan the band, I would certainly recommend catching them when they tour again (which will no doubt happen within the next year). But next time I hope I catch them on the front end of the tour.

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