We had been playing cat and mouse for months. We attended the same shows in Paris, talked a little, mentioning maybe we could do something together... to then see them leave, become huge, and even more intriguing, elusive. It took eight months for this Take Away Show to happen, for them to be free just one afternoon despite their super busy Hollywoodian schedule.
And then, what ? Be one hundred percent cliché, but how ? Exaggerate the origins of a band that became famous abroad ? Or maybe go and film them where they earned the success they now have ? And then we thought about this funny video the band posted on July 14th on their blog, where they play "1901" with an awful iChat wallpaper as a background. Eh, why don’t we do it again, but for real this time ?
They were said to be always scared, meticulous, and not really the perfect match for our little adventure in a very, very touristic area in Paris. Nonsense. Oh, yes, sure they didn’t go after people passing by, neither climbed on top of cars, but they played the game and seemed happy to do so. They improvised a show for a shy, almost unsure yet growing audience on the Trocadero square, hijacked a tourists bus replacing the audioguide by "Lisztomania", and then, they played a last song under a bridge, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
It’s a weird game going on between the band and the place where they play. A mesmerizing Eiffel Tower or Trocadero usually steal the show with their size and more or less spectacular tricks, but here’s a band no one would expect to find there, competing with all those crowd-pullers. Phoenix and a camera meeting hip-hop dancers or junk salesmen. A band seizing the attention of an unprepared audience who then gathers, as if the four guys had always been part of the landscape, shyly asking whether they really are who they think.
Yes, it was Phoenix, in Paris. At the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
3 December 2009, text by Chryde