An Open Letter to PHOENIX
It’s been too long! I remember the first time I heard your music in Paris back in 2004. I was on a high school trip, and I was determined not to leave France until I had “Alphabetical” in my hands. I searched all over Paris for it, and when I found it, I literally went bonkers. When I came back home, I shared your music with all my friends. Discovering your album was like coming across the Holy Grail of Pop. I went on to order “United” and learned every single song by heart.
In 2005, I saw you live in Atlanta, Georgia at the Coca-Cola Roxy Theater. It doesn’t even exist anymore. There was 30 people tops at that gig. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. At least in the top 10. That’s saying something. I left that venue with a feeling of joy that’s never been met elsewhere. You guys reaffirmed my faith in music.
After that, we lost touch. You went on to make two successful albums. In fact, I bought “It’s Never Been Like That” the day I saw the Strokes. It’s like a never ending cycle of goodness with you fellows.
So let’s fast forward to 2010. You’ve won a Grammy. “1901” was featured in a Cadillac commercial. Things are going pretty swell. Then, I find out you’re playing Rites of Spring at Vanderbilt. I was hesitate about attending because let’s face it, universities are not great venues. Well, not for the audiences anyway. Kids get crazy at shows like that. I should know. I was on a programming board for four years. Anyway, I bought tickets to see you.
In the weeks leading up to this gig, I had horrible luck. I mean really bad luck. Then, the day I’m supposed to see you everything goes ridiculously well. Free charger for a broken GPS, free parking and a spot up front. Something is fishy. Uh yeah…I was right. By the time you take the stage, it’s packed. I’m talking sardine cans packed. But I still had faith in you guys. I had driven three hours and I wasn’t about to move due to some drunkards. Luckily, I end up next to some great people.
As I’m waiting in the crowd, I meet a couple of kids who were probably the same age as me when I first discovered your music. They were so excited! I told them all the stories I had regarding your band. They listened respectfully probably thinking this chick is crazy. She needs to get on with it. Then, two more young ladies showed up. They were there for Drake, but I told them you guys were going to be amazing.
As soon as you took the stage, the audience went nuts! Of course, that’s what should happen. You played every song with as much passion and fury as the first day I saw you. Every note was perfect. You didn’t let up for a second. Thomas was climbing on things. Deck was busting it out on the bass. Branco and Chris were rocking pretty hard. Things got a bit crazy, but I made it through the show in one piece. When it was over, I turned to the young ladies there for Drake and they shouted, “THEY WERE AMAZING!” And I replied, “Yeah, I know…”
I ran into the young kids from earlier, and they were yelling, “THAT WAS AWESOME! SO AWESOME! DID YOU SEE THAT?!” And I replied, “Yep. So you loved them, right?! I told you they would blow your minds. You’re addicted for life now. Keep going to their shows!” They yelled back, “OH, WE WILL!!!!”
I left Vanderbilt with sore limbs and a shaky voice. I hadn’t yelled like that in years. It was then that I realized how grateful I was to see you because it’s obvious you still have the power to change minds and move souls with sound.
So, here’s my letter to you. I’m hoping you’ll read it. Maybe someone will forward it to you or you’ll randomly find it in another five years. I hope you all know that you’re the greatest. Period.
Let’s not wait this long to see each other again. Then again, maybe we’ll still be rocking out together at 70. I’d be down with that too. Regardless, keep it up! The world is your stage. Go win some more hearts.
p.s. – I’m even making art in your honor.