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09/18/01 - 9:30 Club - Washington D.C.
by Nancy Yim
Phantom Planet: Washington, DC - Sept. 18, 2001 - 9:30 Club

Phantom Planet Makes Their Presence Known
Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
September 18, 2001

Byline & Photographs: Nancy Yim

I heard a lot about this band before ever laying eyes on them. Somehow, somewhere along the way, the buzz about Phantom Planet reached my ears and one day, while at a local record store, I decided to pick up their first full-length release titled, Phantom Planet Is Missing, on pure faith.

I was not disappointed.

I could not wait to see this band live and to see if they could deliver the songs and sound as good as they did on the album. Finally, fast forward a few years and Phantom Planet is supporting American Hi-Fi (AHF) on the Launch.com North American tour.

Again, I was not disappointed.

This show could not have arrived at a better time. Exactly a week earlier, one of the worse national disasters in my generation's history occured. Phantom Planet and AHF decided to go forward with their tour... to do this thing called "rock-n-roll" and to try to bring back to the people some form of "normalcy." Bless them. Being in my own head was getting too much and I needed something to get back "out there." Talking to the crowd that night, I discovered, I was not the only one. A lot of questions in all of our heads and anger; and a lot of people were still in disbelief. But, they all appreciated being among other people and enjoying the company of others and music and to feel some form of safety. We were not going to be afraid to live!

The show was dynamic. Jason Schwartzman (drummer) was phenomenal. He delivered such a high-energy performance that it got the crowd jonesing for more. Alex Greenwald (lead vocals and frontman) had the audience eating out of his hands.

"Ok, so this is the part where you ask me how I'm doing..."

Jacques Brautbar's (guitarist) fast finger action and rock-n-roll spirit had the crowd screaming in excitement. Darren Robinson (guitar) and Sam Farrar (bass) were the calm among the chaos on stage and added to the band's sound. With a simple grin from either Sam or Darren and the girls went wild.

Phantom Planet introduced many songs from their upcoming Epic Records debut, The Guest, including the first single, California. The song is a great melodic ode to the West side. Later on, someone from the crowd screamed for Recently Distressed and the band obliged. Even with an ill band member, the show did not suffer one iota or missed a beat.

Thank you Phantom Planet for being here. Rock-n-roll was alive that night and for a few brief hours, we all were in a state of nirvana. I cannot wait to see this amazing band again. Good things will come. Catch them on their tour and be sure to get The Guest when it's released in February 2002 and request California on your local radio stations.

You, too, will not be disappointed.

Nancy Yim