A delayed Lollapalooza post: Phoenix’s “Love Like A Sunset, Pts I and II”


So I’m a bit late, but I have very good reason to be.

I’ve just finished my craziest and most bizarre summer, as I lived in East Village in Manhattan. It feels surreal, like it was a dream that didn’t happen. I’ve readjusted to calm suburban life, but I still find myself thinking about walking out of my door into that sea of life, that bustling Union Square and busy Fifth Avenue.

Also, I’m late because I wanted to let Lollapalooza sink in. I wanted to figure out what specific piece of the insane, beauty that is that festival I wanted to focus on. It’s always such a whirlwind of a weekend, and it’s always so worthwhile when I’m there. As much as I want to take photos and update Twitter about every song and band I see whenever I am at Lolla, at the same time, I want to put away my phone and my camera and I just listen to the music. I try to find a middle ground between the two feelings.

Fortunately, I was timely with my coverage of the festival, as you can see on Amplified Magazine. A lot of my reviews will be on their website from now on, but I’ll still use this blog as a way to inject into the internet personal essays and feelings about music and bands I experience.

The moment I want to focus on is a moment from the end of the festival.

It was when Phoenix played “Love Like A Sunset.”

I wasn’t sure they were going to play it, since it is largely wordless and it doesn’t have nearly as popularity as “Lisztomania” or “1901.” But, it’s definitely my favorite piece that I’ve heard by Phoenix. It was the first pair of tracks that I heard that exemplified the beauty of synthesizing electronic sound with live instruments. It was a blend and a saga of sounds, it felt like an epic poem but in music form. And a modern, relevant version of the classical symphonies of the past.

But then, they did.

It’s a good thing too, since I was about to leave and go see Knife Party and the Cure. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to see Knife Party, but enjoying Phoenix’s set was worth it. And the crowning achievement was “Love Like A Sunset.”

There are a lot of bands at Lollapalooza this year where I had specific memories tied to particular songs. Phoenix wasn’t really one of them, I just simply liked Phoenix for the music. My most potent memory I have associated with a song they have done is “Love Like A Sunset” and it is a collection of memories of listening to it on the bus ride home after school. It helped cleanse the mind after a long day.

The song is simply, to put it in a word, beautiful.

And the light show was so good with it. The different colors with the beats, like a sunset of color, the shots of landscapes.

And then, when the words come in, you sort of feel like you’re out of your body. Your identity fades away and all that you feel is the place and the music.

The night sky and the grass under your feet. The Chicago skyline, home after a summer of being in a new place, and a comforting song that soars the way that you had hoped when you listened to it the first time and thought, “I’d love to see this live.”