Photo by Debi Del Grande
Having already played gigs at both Madison Square Garden and the Palace of Versailles, Phoenix recently hit the pinnacle of rock and roll venues: Anderson High School. That’s right, last October, the French foursome performed a full-length concert to 500 students and teachers from the Austin-based high school’s basketball gym.
Footage of the concert will air February 1st on PBS as part of its Live From the Artist’s Den series, and you can now view their performance of “Chloroform” below (via Rolling Stone). It’s definitely a whimsical and decidedly more uplifting version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video.
“The whole high school experience in the United States is very exotic for us,” frontman Thomas Mars told Rolling Stone. “We actually thought about doing a whole tour at some point of high school shows, so this was sort of a test to see if it could work. It was incredible to see how the kids reacted. The first three or four songs, they were really intimidated because there was a camera and a teacher. But it ended up getting really chaotic – in a good way. They invaded the stage. Those girls had no boundaries! There’s no way we could do a [high school] tour. But I’m glad we did one show like that – and that it’s on tape.”
The school’s administrators were just as excited to have Phoenix stop by to rock out. “I had heard of the band from the kids at school, but I didn’t know much about them,” said principal Donna Houser. “So I listened to some of their songs, and it was wonderful. My first thought was, ‘This’ll be a great attendance incentive.’”