Returning to the home front like a soldier back from battle (uh, or not anything like that at all, actually), I returned to popscene last night after my six-plus month sojourn in London. As much as I was looking forward to throwing down the jams to make the kidsí booties shake, and as much as I was still trying to build back my collection after my horrid Xmas eve burglary incident (over 500 CDs gone, but thatís a whole different story), I was even more looking forward to checking out the return live engagement on our stage from Phantom Planet. The Los Angelinos had rocked popscene a few years back before their rise to power and I was interested to hear how their fame had affected their sound. Not one bit, it turned out.
The doors didnít open until 10P, but the line was snaking down the block by 9:15. If thereís thing you can say about Phantom Planet, itís that the ladies like them some Phantom Planet. As soon as the doors opened, girls started lining up at the front of the stage, patiently waiting until 11.15 when the band hit the stage. At that point the room was rammed, and the quintet could feel the love as they came on to rapturous applause. 40 minutes later, they ran out the door to jump on the bus to drive up to Portland for tonightís gig, but in between, they made the girls scream. Mixing songs from 2001ís Guest and this yearís self-titled jam, Phantom Planet simultaneously rocked the crowd and had them begging for more. By the time they played their last song, the excellent new single ìBig Brat,î the entire floor was pulsing to the Planet rhythm. Frontman Alex Greenwald, resplendent in Zubaz hat and flowing mullet, was especially active and was also the source of the majority of the adulation. I just wonder how that mullet would have played for his role in Donnie Darko? A great show and a wonderful way to jump back into the popscene mix. Big ups to the Phantom Planet boys for staying around another night and driving back late just to play for us and big ups to Spike Jonze, just because his name was on the list, but Iím not sure if he ever made it outÖ