Smile Politely

PHOX and Santah simply wow the crowd

The Accord’s marquee sported two popular names from Friday evening’s lineup: Santah, originally from Urbana-Champaign, and PHOX, hailing from Baraboo, Wisconsin. It was no surprise that the venue would be packed with fans from both bands, some traveling from hours away just to see the incredible talent of the night.

Audience members didn’t hesitate to crowd close to the stage for Santah, who set the mood for the entire evening, exciting everyone with several songs from their newest album, Chico, released in November of last year (2015).


“Who’s In Town” kicked off their set, followed by “Here Are My Shells” which by the way, if you haven’t seen the music video it’s awesome. It brings me back to days of the struggle in P.E. — you’ll see what I’m talking about. Anyway, the band debuted a new song too and sprinkled in a few other tracks from previously released albums. Every show I’ve seen Santah play is a celebration, a party, a damn good time. You find yourself dancing, swaying, and nodding the entire time. Speaking of celebrations, drummer, Steve Plock, was also doing some celebrating himself. Happy birthday, Steve!


PHOX. Wow. The moment the group of five walked onto the steps of the stage people were cheering, eager to hear the voice of Monica Martin, the keys and guitar of Matteo Roberts, bass from Jason Krunnfusz, Dave Roberts on drums and sweet melodies by Matt Holmen.

Picking up speed the band played, “Shrinking Violets”. It was not too soon to play this song. Talk about a sweet tune. There is a depth and lightness to Monica’s voice with a sound that resonates in your ear even when she’s stopped singing. It’s nearly impossible to believe keyboardist and guitarist, Matteo Roberts was under the weather for this show. Maybe the Burt’s Bees really is the cure, a reference they made multiple times throughout the night.

Matt H. started picking his electric guitar and the audience members automatically picked up on which song was next — “1936”. “Slow Motion” was such a fun song to dance to which, based on Spotify, is their most popular track with over five million listens. Incorporating a teach and repeat style for the crowd, PHOX invited the audience to sing along with them to “Evil”. 

Other songs of the night included “Noble Heart” and “King Fisher”, but something special about this show was the new song, “Pillow”, which is a song Monica said she feels strongly about. We definitely have something to look forward to in terms of new songs. As it is 2016, the “Encore” is dead and was noted as they announced towards the end of their set counting down from the 3rd to last song that they will not be doing the cliché leave and come back.

“Espeon”, was their last song. I think this style made people more appreciative of the full set. “Espeon” is a bonus track featured on their deluxe version of their 2014 album release. While the show ended after twelve songs, the band stayed around to get happy and dance with the DJ-ed Victory Lap of Kanye versus Taylor. I will definitely be going to their next show.

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