Indy Music
VOX 2010

Playing In Valhalla

  Picture1I am fascinated by Phoenix. They hail from Paris, conquered Coachella last month, and are selling out huge houses all over the country. And, they have obvious classical leanings: the first single off their new album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (ahem) is called "Lisztomania." And it's a massive hit: the track on MySpace has nearly 2.7 million plays to date. (The title refers to the extreme fan response to Franz Liszt's live performances in the 19th century, something which Phoenix has come to know a thing or two about themselves.)

And, then, I'm over Pete's house last night, and this amazing video for "Lisztomania" comes on. It's shot in fucking BAYREUTH. (Liszt is buried in Bayreuth, having died there while visiting his daughter Cosima, who had recently been widowed from Richard Wagner.) And, not just anywhere in Bayreuth: someone actually let them play on the stage of the Festspielhaus, complete with screaming fans in the stalls. (They take the stage singing "This is show time, this is show time..." with the same slow build that accompanies the end of Die Walkure.)  And all I could think was: wow, these kids are screwing with some pretty sacred cows. And getting away with it.

How the hell did they pull it off? And, did Wolfgang kick the bucket before or after they filmed it?