Electronic Rock Duos Takeover Downtown KC

by Brian Amick
photos: Cory Weaver
Canadian electronic indie rock duo, Bob Moses, set the stage for Phantogram

The Coors Light Block Party at the Power and Light District definitely felt like a party on Friday, August 23rd. Bob Moses and Phantogram lit up the stage and provided the soundtrack for a dance-filled evening.

Up first was Vancouver’s eclectic Bob Moses. Fusing rock, electronic, and dance music into a one-of-a-kind sound and energy, the duo were the perfect opening act on a perfect weather evening in Kansas City. From the smoke-filled ambience to the interactions with the growing crowd, Bob Moses cemented its reputation as a must-see live act. Hits like “Tearing Me Up” and “Back Down” warmed up the crowd as they prepared for the big draw of the night, Phantogram.

Sarah Barthel & Josh Carter rocked Downtown Kansas City non-stop. 96.5 the Buzz, a long incubator of indie rock was one of the first stations to play Phantogram's "Don't Move"

Following the lead set by Bob Moses, Phantogram came in hot. The electronic rock of the New York duo brought a feeling that was palpable throughout the packed house. The temperature even seemed to rise a bit when the band started playing.

Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel have an unmistakable sound and presence. Barthel’s transfixing vocals are perfect in an outdoor setting, echoing into the night sky. Carter tore it up on the guitar, something not often heard from a synth-based band. Their chemistry together transformed the vibe in the venue into something intimate yet expansive.

Great sound is key to any successful band, but Phantogram takes its live performances to the next level with unique visuals. The band’s name refer to an optical illusion in which two-dimensional images appear to be three-dimensional, and a parallel can easily be drawn between that and the visuals deployed on stage during their set.

Phantogram wouldn’t be the headliner it is without a catchy setlist, however. Popular songs such as “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” and “Into Happiness” are what bring people to see a show in the first place, and the duo doesn’t disappoint when performing them live.

All in all, August 23rd will go down as one of the most fun-filled nights of the summer for a venue that has become synonymous with them.

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All Photos © Cory Weaver/CMW PhotographyBands Through Town • Unless noted