Foxygen - The Observatory - August 15, 2014
Moss Perricone Foxygen
"When I say Rado, you say drank," Jonathan Rado calls out from behind a stack of keyboards. Rado. Drank. Rado. Drank. He hits a button -- the beat kicks in at 74 BPM. It's the same tempo as Kendrick Lamar's Swimming Pools. Roll up. Drank. "Give me your pants," someone shouts. "I can't," Rado responds -- calm, removed, Keith Richards cool. He plays with a cigarette in his mouth, wet between sips off a big bottle of Jack.
"These are my bar mitzvah pants."
Things got freaky Friday night at the Observatory. Opening act (and Locals Only faves) Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel ushered in a wave of chunky psychedelia -- persistent bass grooves dressed up in Davy Jones harmonies, in sinister Sunday morning organ riffs. Frontman Tomas Dolas convulsed at the keys, howling, thrashing, setting off "Nico" -- a perfect closer, a song for the pit.
Mr. Elevator left the stage, replaced with halved mannequins. Names were scrawled across their chests -- Linda, Cindy, Cheryl. Gary Wilson was up next. He took the stage in typical Gary fashion, dressed somewhere between Italian grandmother and mad scientist. His strut was manic, theatrical, drawing the crowd into songs about Friday nights and blind dates, a heartbreaker named Cindy and school dances. It's a potent mix -- massive, operatic performances and roller disco make out pop.
Foxygen came on around 11 p.m. Rado was the first one out, sound checking each of his four keyboards. In a few minutes the stage was full -- three choir girls, a turtlenecked bass/guitar duo, drummer, and the yin yang, Keith and Mick core that is Sam France and Rado. The Stones connection is instantly apparent between France's strut and Rado's simmer, a fresh manifestation of that classic energy with a whole new creativity and a whole new edge.