THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Phoenix At The Wiltern

Why was everybody there?


I e-mailed Stacey to park beneath the building and she said:
Why was everybody there?


"I'm glad you already have tickets, because this show is totally sold out."
Why was everybody there?


Huh?
Why was everybody there?


Daniel Glass told me it was a tight ticket, but he owns the label.
What was bringing 2,000 plus people out on a Sunday night?
Why was everybody there?


Was it SNL?
Why was everybody there?


Sure, that was a plum gig in the last century, but TV can't break a band today (other than the Disney Channel, but the Jonas Brothers are already fading, yet it's still a viable outlet for girl singers). And so many of the people on that Saturday late night show can't sell a ticket. It's the epitome of hype. Hey, look at me! My label squeezed somebody powerful and now I've got a moment of fame before I go back to my day job!
Why was everybody there?


Bob Lefsetz, Santa Monica-based industry legend, is the author of the e-mail newsletter, "The Lefsetz Letter". Famous for being beholden to no one, and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to music business honchos like Michael Rapino, Randy Phillips, Don Ienner, Cliff Burnstein, Irving Azoff and Tom Freston.

Never boring, always entertaining, Mr. Lefsetz's insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music's American division and consultancies to major labels.

Bob has been a weekly contributor to CelebrityAccess and Encore since 2001, and we plan many more years of partnership with him. While we here at CelebrityAccess and Encore do not necessarily agree with all of Bob's opinions, we are proud to help share them with you.

But supposedly it was different with Phoenix, SNL chased them.
Why was everybody there?


Still…
Why was everybody there?


It's not like they've got a ubiquitous radio hit.
Why was everybody there?


It's not like they've been the beneficiaries of saturation ink.
Why was everybody there?


They haven't been jammed down our throats. How can they be so successful?
Why was everybody there?


Could it be that they're real? That they don't dance, don't rely on backup tapes?
Why was everybody there?


Could it be that in a beat-driven commercial world they're a great alternative?
Why was everybody there?


Could it be that after four albums, enough people know about them?
Why was everybody there?


Or, could it be that after four albums they're finally that good?
Why was everybody there?


The word is definitely out.
Why was everybody there?


And those in attendance were not checking the band out. They were singing along. They knew the music.
Why was everybody there?


There was a pulse. That was absent from SNL. You see the sterility of a television studio robs rock of its essence, its sweaty all in it together vibe. But live!
Why was everybody there?


Phoenix kept the energy high. Didn't do anything downtempo for forty minutes, and that number was not a dirge. They didn't speak, didn't
break up the music with patter. They let the sound speak for them.
Along with the lights!
Why was everybody there?


You'd think we were in the seventies. Or maybe the sixties. When only insiders knew, but there were a ton of insiders, all primed for the gig, not caring that the mainstream isn't clued in.
Why was everybody there?


I asked each person I came in contact with. Why was everybody there?
Why was everybody there?


No one came up with a magic bullet.
Why was everybody there?


I'm not sure that Phoenix is the next superstar act, but they're a bright light, a harbinger for the future. Bottom line, if you make good music, people find out! You can't market via social media that which isn't good, that which people don't want. But if you've got a touch of quality, word spreads like wildfire!
Why was everybody there?


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Why was everybody there?


Lefsetz: At the Phoenix show at the Wiltern. You'd think it's 1977.
What a vibe!.
Why was everybody there?


tarheel–blue: @jazifer maybe missed another good one. RT @Lefsetz: At the Phoenix show at the Wiltern. You'd think it's 1977. What a vibe!.
Why was everybody there?


brocofly: @Lefsetz this show rocks!!!
Why was everybody there?


Lefsetz: What is your theory why this Phoenix show at the Wiltern is sold out? (And they're rocking by the way, very high energy.)
Why was everybody there?


marramark: @Lefsetz because the album is amazing and the word of mouth for their shows has been akin to "religious experience".
Why was everybody there?


KardiacKeith: @Lefsetz The live show, amount of albums released, buzz in the industry right now, good opportunities and showings at festivals makes fans.
Why was everybody there?


jrguip: @Lefsetz Phoenix is one of the best live bands around, their drummer is incredible.
Why was everybody there?


ajohnson161: At Phoenix show… Sound great… At the soundboard…
Met Lefsetz…
Why was everybody there?


juepucta: @Lefsetz what do you mean why? because their good and word spreads (this is their 4th album)!
Why was everybody there?


juepucta: @Lefsetz all sorts of other crap "certain people" see "the future of music" in sell out too, these guys just are good on top of that 😉
Why was everybody there?


tigerpop: @Lefsetz Great album, HUGE word of mouth. Old school. (SNL didn't hurt either.)
Why was everybody there?


jrguip: @Lefsetz Phoenix also has crafted two consecutively great releases of raw pop music with an intellectual bent.
Why was everybody there?


vonmarxen: @Lefsetz they've been doing the same thing for 20 years.
People are just now catching on!
Why was everybody there?


ChicoSousa: @Lefsetz theory behind the sold out show? I think the SNL performance this year blew people away & left us all anticipating the album & tour
Why was everybody there?


dashgo: @Lefsetz because people love Phoenix. They work hard and write great music.
Why was everybody there?


mwjoffe: Great 1 line review…. RT @Lefsetz: At the Phoenix show at the Wiltern. You'd think it's 1977. What a vibe!.
Why was everybody there?


Lefsetz: An amazing drummer makes a huge difference.
Why was everybody there?


markdienger: @Lefsetz Phoenix always sells out the wiltern they are coming back to la in the fall at the Greek
Why was everybody there?


theseams: @Lefsetz people love them because they they are the real deal. And yes, a sick drummer can't hurt
Why was everybody there?


mrmattdecker: @Lefsetz truth be told!
Why was everybody there?


lisamaxwell: Absolutely, does it ever! RT @Lefsetz An amazing drummer makes a huge difference.
Why was everybody there?


drubin14: @Lefsetz they r a buzz band -like Vampire Weekend – who actually doesn't suck . They've managed to steamroll a movement and back it up.
Why was everybody there?


amberdino: @Lefsetz can't figure out how phoenix got popular. Have had a solid following for a few years and somehow new cd got hype. Good show!!
Why was everybody there?


mary–cg: @Lefsetz They're a '70s-sounding band. Remind me of Brian Eno, Talking Heads, & others from that era. New wave w/a touch of prog rock.
Why was everybody there?


ethank: @Lefsetz because they are fun. Never underestimate the power of just pure fun at a show.
Why was everybody there?


DukesofWindsor: @Lefsetz – he is a GREAT drummer!
Why was everybody there?


tangoalphatango: @Lefsetz Phoenix rules, and no one talks about them,which is a travesty.
Why was everybody there?


Phil–Herring: @Lefsetz A dancy, hyped band from Europe will usually sell out venues in L.A.
Why was everybody there?


wesleyverhoeve: @Lefsetz Phoenix has been selling out NYC for a few years. Word of mouth + SNL. And YES! how good is that drummer, and he's a sub
Why was everybody there?

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