Phantogram are one of those rare duos who fit perfectly into the diverse Twin Cities music scene. Their advanced, electronic production combined with the soul of a punk rock band makes their sound speak to listeners of every type of music. They were an obvious choice to round out the Palace’s opening weekend.
Phantogram’s set put the theater to the test with a combination of vibrant, intense lighting and full-band sound. The Palace did not disappoint. As the band opened with “You’re Mine,” beams of white light flashed throughout the venue, complementing the purposefully unfinished balcony and LED perimeter lighting. The production value continued to rise throughout the concert with films projecting onto the two-tier stage and lights cast up onto the ceiling.
While some performances lose intimacy with high production value, Phantogram kept the entire crowd, even the top corners of the balcony, dancing throughout the show. Sarah Barthel’s provocative vocals and Josh Carter’s gut-wrenching guitar playing and mixing are the perfect marriage. The band’s electrifying execution of songs like “Black Out Days” and “Falling” paired the spectacular visuals of a Skyway show with the focused intensity of a First Ave rock concert. As Barthel’s voice echoed the last line of “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore,” two things became clear. First, Phantogram is a band worth seeing under any circumstance; second, the Palace might be the most dynamic venue in the Twin Cities.
Ahead of Phantogram’s set, the Veldt chilled the Palace with erie punk. The Chapel Hill natives gave a gracious and emotional performance, evident in how lead vocalist Daniel Chavis thanked the crowd for listening.
Writer Phil Levine is a student at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. Photographer Emma Roden is a student at Normandale Community College.