Even as the dust is settling around everyone’s Best Of 2009 lists, our favorite French rock stars Phoenix are launching into 2010 with a bang. The bright, stylish and now Grammy-nominated Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (which made Time, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone’s lists, among others) is, in fact, a remarkable record – it’s hard to think of a better pop song than “Lisztomania” that’s been released in the past year or so. The album is a seamless combination of tight acoustic guitar rhythms and gleaming synthesizers; it’s buoyant, perfectly-crafted pop. Unsurprising, then, that the response to Thomas Mars and Co.’s current world tour has been enormous – the band’s live show, which is generating overwhelmingly positive reviews for its exceptional, crowd-pleasing setlist, including a version of the sexy Air collaboration “Playground Love,” is selling out across the U.S., Australia, Asia and Europe. Which reminds us, if you’re heading to the Showbox website to buy tickets, don’t bother – this show was sold out weeks ago. With The Soft Pack. All ages, but SOLD OUT. E. THOMPSON

Sat., Jan. 23, 8 p.m., 2010

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