There was a time when bands like The Velvet Underground or The Rolling Stones could fully own a stage, powering their amps to level 11 and engaging in antics that left the audience in a frenzy from the beginning of the show to the end. One such band still exists today, LA’s own Foxygen, and last Friday, the band brought to the Echoplex a musical style that emulates those of the artists I’ve mentioned and a stage presence that also rivals those of their psychedelic brethren.
Photos by David Fisch
Those who, like myself, were expecting a more relaxed environment of bobbing heads based on Foxygen’s latest record, We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, had the invisible shag rug pulled out from underneath us almost immediately. Foxygen — ordinarily comprised of duo Jonathan Rado and Sam France — expanded to five members on stage, blowing up tracks like the nostalgic lo-fi recording of “Bowling Trophies” into blaring, full-fledged, and definitely hi-fi (or I should say, “high” fi) live renditions.
Foxygen performed many of their full-length’s tracks to the tune of their own looseness, which resulted in some of the songs sounding like arena-ready standards (“Shuggie”) and others like the soundtrack to a raucous backyard party (“San Francisco”). During the performance of the album’s frolic title track, this energy ultimately led to a circulating mosh pit, which I was eventually tossed into, resulting in photos that more or less added to the enormity of their psychedelic setting (see below).
Did I mind? Not really. Taking in what I was witnessing on stage and right there in the crowd, I couldn’t help but think this was the most fun I had had at a concert in a long time. There eventually came a point where the music no longer had to be perfectly played or versed correctly (even with vocal acknowledgement from the band), and those in attendance merely experienced the power of the environment. The band performed their music with the same stage energy as their influencers, and in the end, I think that’s all that really mattered.
Foxygen will be back in LA for a show at The Echo in March, but until then, you can catch them during any one of their North American tour dates listed below. Be sure to listen to Foxygen’s new record, We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, but don’t expect what you hear to be the same on stage!
Foxygen North American Tour Dates:
02/20/13 Austin, TX – The Mohawk *+
02/21/13 Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s *+
02/22/13 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jack’s *+
02/23/13 Atlanta, GA – 529 *+
02/24/13 Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506 – SOLD OUT
02/26/13 Baltimore, MD – Golden West Cafe
02/27/13 Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel *+
02/28/13 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom – SOLD OUT *+
03/01/13 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church *+
03/02/13 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall *+
03/03/13 Montreal, QC – Il Motore *+
03/04/13 Toronto, ON – Wrong Bar *+
03/06/13 Holland, MI – Knickerbocker Theater at Hope College *+
03/07/13 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall *+
03/08/13 Bloomington, IN – Bluebird Nightclub *+
03/09/13 St. Louis, MO – Firebird *+
03/11/13 Norman, OK – Opolis *+
03/12/13 Dallas, TX – Club Dada *+
03/18/13 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge *+
03/19/13 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge *+
03/21/13 Garden City, ID – Visual Arts Collective
03/22/13 Seattle, WA – The Crocodile *+
03/23/13 Vancouver, BC – The Media Club *+%
03/24/13 Portland, OR – Holocene w/ Pure X
03/26/13 San Francisco, CA – Brick & Mortar Music Hall ^
03/29/13 Los Angeles, CA – The Echo ^
03/30/13 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar ^
05/14/13 Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory – SOLD OUT
05/15/13 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge – SOLD OUT
* w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
+ w/ Wampire
^ w/ Sam Flax
% w/ Blessed Fathers
For more info: