From one Bowl to another: French band Phoenix stopped by our fair concert venue on Sunday after a sold-out, well-received concert at the Hollywood Bowl the day before, riding high on a career that has gone from cult attention to mass appeal. This is all the more amazing considering Phoenix’s pop-rock music — which settles into push-pull, loud-soft dynamics several times during each song, buoying melody lines that turn back in on themselves instead of stretching out into sing-along choruses — has an arrangement template that varied little each song. That is to say, Phoenix has risen with songs that don’t exactly knock one over with hooks.
So put it down to their style, their musicianship and being at the right place at the right time. And hey, think about it, these guys are French! And when was the last time a French rock band ever made it big in America?