Manchester Orchestra can pack a venue no matter the day of the week, and the theory proved true on Wednesday night at Phoenix’s Van Buren for The Million Masks of God Tour. Finally on the road to promote last year’s LP of the same name, the group brought along some of their biggest fans: Michigander and Foxing.
Michigander, comprising drummer Aaron Senor, guitarist Jake LeMond, bassist Connor Robertson, and Jason Singer (guess what he does), welcomed the crowd with their melodic, anthemic tunes like “Misery” and “Better”. The feel-good vibes were solidified by Singer’s commentary, reminding everyone to keep dreaming and that it’s not about where you are but who you’re with.
The anticipation following Michigander was palpable, as the fans crowded closer for Foxing’s set. When the trio took their places on stage, completely stoic, a scream of, “I love you, Conor!” shattered the tension. Frontman Conor Murphy broke into a shy smile, momentarily distracted before tiptoeing into “737”. The lilting tune kicked off a noisy set (Murphy’s scream is no joke) that drew mostly from their new record, Draw Down the Moon, and had the front row frenzied.
Foxing and Michigander both thanked Manchester Orchestra for the opportunity to get back on the road, of course, but both groups are clearly enthralled with the Atlanta-based rockers. It’s hard not to be, after nearly 20 years as a band. After creating the harmonies of “The Gold” live, which is pretty close to a religious experience. After releasing one of the best albums of 2021. There are plenty of reasons to be a Man O fan, but perhaps the most obvious from an observer’s point of view is the way they bring so many different kinds of people together. As the headlining set drew to a close and the diverse crowd was awash in light, nothing else mattered. Only “The Silence”.
Check out more photos from the show!
Story and photos by Taylor Knauf