Who is Phoenix The Band?
I spend most of my time taking photographs, playing video games or hanging out with my wife/friends. I don't read TMZ. I don't watch MTV. Now that Breaking Bad is done, my TV consumption is limited to Game of Thrones and Gold Rush. I have only seen two films in the theatre since Avatar. I don't read Rolling Stone, Alternative Press or the Spin Magazine. Basically, I don't give myself much opportunity to learn about pop culture or to experience the hip tunes that the kids are listening to (unless NPR suggests it).
Despite being intentionally ignorant about pop culture, I am not so deep into my hermit's hole to have escaped the name Phoenix. Several of my friends praise the rockers' discography and have spent good money on concert tickets to see the Frenchmen live. Yet, despite hearing the band's name, I had not actually heard Phoenix. This is my fault. The internet is at my fingertips. I blame the aural absence of Phoenix on the fact that I am, at times, very pretentious and tend not to listen to something simply because the rest of the world does.
When I was given the opportunity to shoot the Phoenix show this past weekend, I jumped at the chance to capture the concert in Seoul. The event would get me out of the house, force me to improve my low-light photography skills and allow me to hear Phoenix. I packed a bag with the essentials (Canon 5d Mark III, Sigma 35mm prime, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 red ringer and my trusty 6 inch prism), grabbed my good friend/fellow photographer Alex Lopez-Barton and headed to a parking lot outside of Seoul's Olympic Stadium.
As with most concerts, the light level went down and the energy level went up. And there they were... The indie rockers from Versailles that I had heard about. I did not become star struck nor did I waste anytime clicking the shutter. I shot all that I could in three songs (ten minutes), for that was all that the event's security would allow.
With the shoot complete and the camera back in the bag, I didn't think about the editing I would have to do. I didn't think about the corndogs, tandori chicken or kabobs that were on offer from the plethora of vendors. I simply watched a concert and finally got my chance to hear Phoenix. I now know why there is buzz about this band. They're awesome.