As a heat wave made its way through the Hollywood Hills, hundreds of locals and foreigners alike made their way in the mayhem that is the Hollywood Bowl before any performance. This venue has long been a Los Angeles staple, known for its beautiful and distinctive concrete arches creating acoustics heard for miles and views of the rolling hills that seem to protect attendants from the realities of life outside the Bowl. With small shops designed for picnicking instead of the usual bars, it’s easy to grab food and a bottle of wine, creating a more intimate and family oriented environment. On this particular night, many could be seen as well bringing their own food and beverages, a rarity for any venue nowadays. Groups of fans pushed through the aisles as the first opener graced the stage.
The Lemon Twigs warmed the stage up with their bright 70’s inspired fashion and pop rock sound. New to the music scene as of 2016, the D’Addario brothers, who have been performing together since elementary school, lead this eccentric group. These teenage sensations are on the rise in the indie rock world, most recently marked by the release of their debut album Do Hollywood and their first Coachella performances this year: a milestone for any artist. Their performance this night delighted the crowds as they made their way through the Bowl, and proved the band to be a wonderful addition to the tour.
Soon after, Mac DeMarco and his band of misfits took over the Bowl as if it were their own living room. Dressed as poster children from the 90’s, their ignorance of the large crowd there to see them proved to be an endearing quality one does not find in modern performing artists anymore. Banter, bad jokes, and trolling are all things one looks forward to at a Mac DeMarco concert, which remind us all to stop taking ourselves so seriously. The music though remained to be the focal point of the performance, never allowing the comedy to overtake their set. The indie rock songwriter brought out his best feel-good classics, perfect for a warm summer’s night. For their second to last song, the band decided to jam out to a 90’s hit by Vanessa Carlton, “A Thousand Miles,” by only using the famous line “Making my way downtown” the whole song. These hilarious moments make every Mac DeMarco concert unique in itself and add to the light-hearted nature of the Ti Amo tour overall.
Excitement and anticipation were at an all-time high within the Bowl by the time Phoenix came on stage. The French pop group opened with their album titled track, and in the process revealed their cleverly designed stage. Instead of the usual canvas or digital backdrop, the tour set designer decided to use a huge mirror instead, giving the lighting designer the ability to reflect light and projections. This allowed for the audience to see the whole band from a bird’s eye view and allowed the band members to interact with the projections on stage. The well-constructed set pushed the group’s set to the next level, especially during such hits as “Entertainment” and “Lisztomania.” Much of the set was dedicated to their new album, but they still sprinkled in the classics for the long time fans. The dance indie pop kept everyone on their feet grooving to the contagious sound Phoenix has perfected over the years. Towards the end of the set, the group scaled it back for some more tender moments amid the high energy set by including an instrumental interlude that allowed front man Thomas Mars to interact with the crowd. Performing their classic “Rome” was the perfect heart felt close to an upbeat and diverse set. As quickly as they were off stage, they were back on stage to give the encore the crowd demanded. The party picked back up again with “Countdown” and their new track “Fior di Latte.” As their final close, Phoenix performed their hit single “1901,” getting everyone on their feet one final time. Mars then gave an unprecedented gift to his fans; a quick opportunity to meet him while he walked through the Bowl during a short reprise of their opener “Ti Amo.” With full hearts and the first night of the Ti Amo tour in the books, fans left the historic venue on a bigger high than when they entered.
This was the first night of the Ti Amo tour, so check out the rest of the cities they are performing at soon in order to experience these talented artists! The next performance will be at the famous Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, United Kingdom.