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On Sunday night, Phantogram and Goth Babe came out to Denver’s brand new venue, the Mission Ballroom.

The venue itself is incredible – in front of the stage lies a large floor area, surrounded by coliseum-like seating. The ballroom is spacious and has room for thousands while still retaining an incredibly intimate feel. Every seat in the venue offered a phenomenal view of the performance.

Goth Babe kicked off the night with the venue half-full. Griffin Washburn is both the guitarist and vocalist, supported by a bassist and drummer. He has a unique sound – a soft punk indie style that has hints of psychedelic. His stage presence was as relaxed and loose as the music, Griffin looking fully at home. His care-free yet confident demeanor made the performance feel as natural and organic as could be. As he continued his set the Mission Ballroom continued to fill in, and by the end the energy in the venue became electric. Washburn finished off the performance with an epic stage dive into the audience, boosting the energy of the crowd.

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Up next was the centerpiece of the evening: Phantogram. The duo of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, Phantogram has been relatively quiet since releasing their third album Three in 2016. Their set at the Mission Ballroom was just their third stop on their 2019 tour. The stage lit up to reveal both Barthel and Carter behind an enormous white curtain, shrouding the musicians for the first two songs. On the fourth song, Barthel brought out her sleek white bass, complementing her flashy white heels and snazzy black pants. She looked, in one word, bad-ass.

The duo fed off each other’s energy for the entire night, playing older classics like “Mouthful of Diamonds” and “Don’t Move”, as long as hits off of Three such as “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”. Their synergy was evident in every song, as every note and lyric fell crisply and perfectly into place. Barthel alternated between bass, synthesizer, and vocals, flowing across the stage with confidence and charisma. She owned the stage like it was built just for her.

The crowd’s energy reached a climax when Phantogram played “Fall in Love”, a high-tempo, intricate song (and my personal favorite) off the album Voices. Barthel took a moment to address the crowd on a more serious note, giving an incredibly powerful speech about mental health awareness. She reminded everyone that it is “okay to not be okay” and that there are always people to turn to for help. Phantogram has long been an advocate for mental health support, giving 100% of the revenue from their single “Someday” to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Phantogram still has over 2 months remaining on their tour. Upcoming locations include Kansas City, Chicago, St Paul, and Detroit. Phantogram delivered a powerful performance of the highest quality. Their energy, stage presence, and clarity live is impressive and immersive… this is not a tour to be missed!

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Jason Habib Author
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Jason Habib Author
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