Photos By Armando Gallardo, Words By Julie Espinosa
The Hamilton welcomed Phox for their first-ever headlining tour this past Saturday, resulting in the most packed concert I’ve attended at the space. As unknown as they might be to mainstream radio, Phox is likely to be “the next big thing,” and they now have a sold-out concert at one of DC’s finest venues to prove it.
In the summer of 2013, Phox found themselves playing Lollapalooza after rapper Azealia Banks had to cancel because of a severe throat infection. Since then, their fan base has increased exponentially, taking them places they have only dreamed of, as lead singer Monica Martin told the crowd at The Hamilton.
Phox packed The Hamilton and their lead singer made no effort to hide her gratefulness by telling the crowd how thankful and pleasantly surprised she was a good 10 times. This had the crowd professing their love for the band every single time. The band was so down-to-earth and humble that the crowd couldn’t resist cheering for them all night long.
Phox categorize themselves as indie pop, but the truth is that their sound is full of pleasantly put together cacophonies which blended with Martin’s soulful voice creates some of the most unique music I’ve heard this year. The only way to categorize it is music full of awesomeness.
Given that I was a late adopter to the band’s music (read: a few days before the concert), I didn’t really know what to expect. At first their songs sounded quite similar, but it was the arrangements and constant change of sounds, thanks to the skillfulness of their multi-instrumentalist band members, which really sold me. It was as if every song was masterfully crafted to remind you that you were listening to Phox but also take you in so many different directions that you didn’t know what instrument was leading the others or if the band has suddenly drifted into a long jam session. All I knew was that the music was infectious, the singer’s voice sounded like heaven for the soul, and the music’s colors were everything that a rainbow is made of and then some.
As I found out that evening, Phox has some pretty loyal fans – not only making sure that the show was sold-out, but also singing each one of their songs as if their lives depended on it.
In attendance was Bob Boilen, NPR’s Tiny Desk host, who Instragrammed a photo of Phox with the caption ‘Fun to watch a band grow.’ And indeed, Phox has been growing. It has grown since their inception, their fan base has grown since the last time they were at The Hamilton as an opening act, and they have grown in my heart enough for me to start spreading the word.