Photos and Words by Jose Serrato
Behind a white curtain, Phantogram’s Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter took the stage to a large roar from the crowd as they started their 15-song set.
The band started with an instrumental piece, “News Today”, that led into “Black Out Days” off their album “Voices”. The strobe lights flashing across the mesh curtain gave the crowd glimpses of front women Sarah and Josh as they stayed behind cover for the duration of the song. “Run Run Blood” and “Don’t Move” followed as the two best friends took to the front of the stage.
There’s an indescribable feeling at a Phantogram show that I don’t always sense at other concerts. Seeing them take control of the stage and the crowd you know they are leaving everything out there for all to see.
Fans received a special treat as the band performed “You Are the Ocean”, a song from their 2010 album “Eyelid Movies” that they haven’t played live in over 7 years. As years go by and new music is written, I think it’s safe to say that “Howling at the Moon”, a song, as Sarah pointed out, written about Texas, will always make the set list.
Sarah addressed the crowd before going into the last song of the set, ”Ceremony”, a new song from their forthcoming album. The song is dedicated to Sarah’s sister Becky, who committed suicide three years ago. Since then, the band has been a strong voice in suicide prevention, working to let people know that it’s okay to not be okay.
“If you’re sad, if you feel sad or you feel alone or feel wrong or something’s not right about you, don’t go away. Just stay. Just stay here. There’s nothing better on the other side and all the love is right here.”
After a 90-minute set filled with high energy from both the band and the crowd, it was a moment of deep reflection from the sold out Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum.
After a short break Phantogram came back on stage. “Answer” and “When I’m Small” were the selected encore songs, and it seemed like the perfect way to end their show. With guitarist Nicholas Shelestak and drummer Chris Carhart, the band waved goodbye and picked up a few panties that were thrown on stage. Sarah threw up the peace sign and exited stage left. The smiling crowd ambled out, carrying their lives to where the love still is, under the full Deep Ellum moon.”
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