Phantogram is Phantastic
Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, the duo that is Phantogram, came down from their snowy empire in New York down to Atlanta. The Tabernacle was our venue for the night, and the vaulted ceilings and once-holy trappings of an abandoned church accentuated the phantasmal experience created by Phantogam on Friday night.
“Never stop moving” was the name of the game for us, and every single person was giving it their all. The way that Phantogram combine complex backing tracks with extraordinary musicianship is a site to behold. The stage set up offered many unique visuals such as a moving field of stars (a la that old Windows screensaver), distorted versions of themselves mimicking their actions behind them, and a collection of clips from old home movies. There was barely any empty space as I traversed the venue during the set to try and see the spectacle from as many different angles as possible.
The shining moment of the night was when Atlanta-native Big Boi came out just before the encore to perform “Fell in the Sun” and “Put It on Her” from their collaborative project Big Grams. The crowd went absolutely nuts, and I'm sure I wasn’t the only one praying for an impromptu, hour-long Big Grams set. Unfortunately, they had just three more songs after Big Boi left the stage. The encore culminated in their newest hit single “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” which left us all tired, sweaty, out of breath and begging for more.
Even though we were all rabid for more music, no one could say that they were disappointed in the display of beautiful singing from Sarah, amazing musicianship from Josh and the rest of the band, Nick Shelestak on keys/synth/guitar and Chris Cahart on drums. Plus the overall stunning visuals. They slayed their Phantogram songs and brought out an Atlanta legend to perform two of my personal favorite Big Grams songs. It was the best time I’d ever had in church.
Photos by Missy Stowell for Bullet Music