photo by Brooklyn Kascel/The Daily Iowan

Recap: PHOX rocks the Mill for Mission Creek Festival

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By Justus Flair | justus-flair@uiowa.edu | @justus_flair

PHOX filled the Mill on Thursday night for Mission Creek, a far cry from their performance in the venue four years ago that had, according to lead singer Monica Martin, “like, six or seven people.”

After an hour of opening acts – Subatlantic [Think young Gwen Stafani but less pop-punk, more folksy-bluegrass] and The Wandering Bears, who ended by crowdsurfing – the crowd was ready for PHOX’s show.

Besides erupting in applause between songs, the audience stayed quiet, a sort of hushed reverence for Martin’s powerful vocals.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 1.52.00 AMSeeing PHOX live, their talent is staggering. Even with Jason Krunnfusz on vocal rest, unable to harmonize, Martin powered through, needing no help, though keyboardist Matteo Roberts offered some by filling in background vocals.

Martin kept up a rapport with the audience, constantly thanking everyone for coming and gushing about how happy PHOX was to be there. Her genuine enthusiasm and bright smile saved her from seeming to just be working the crowd.

“This festival is really dope – and I don’t just say that to all the girls,” she quipped before one song.

Her irrepressible laughter and smiled carried the crowd through the sadder, slower songs, but PHOX brought it back around, closing on an upswing before descending the stage to hang out with the Mill’s lingering listeners.

 

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