Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ty Segall at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom

Ty Segall was raised by the surf in Laguna Beach, California, but settled in San Francisco after college. The gritty psychedelic-punk and garage-rock scene in San Francisco had a profound effect on the music he created with numerous local bands, including the Epsilons, the Traditional Fools and Sic Alps. Although he has contributed to many side projects, Segall was destined to be a prolific solo artist, however, and has released seven wide-spanning solo albums; Manipulator was released on August 26, 2014.
Tonight at the first of two headlining shows at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom, Ty Segall and his band (Charles Moonheart on guitar, Mikal Cronin on bass, Emily Rose Epstien on drums) played a spirited rock set that cultivated moshing from the beginning. A metal barricade initially sectioned off a photo pit and kept fans from the stage, but it quickly started to tip in under the pressing crowd. An increasing force of security guards tried to push the barricade erect, but after a few songs, Segall asked the audience to step back so the barricade could be safely removed. From then on, stage diving ruled; even Segall leapt into the crowd three times.
Segall opened with the lo-fi title track of his current album, snarling lyrics and playing crazy guitar leads to the band's heavy-bottom backup. Over the next 80 minutes, Segall performed 13 songs from the 17-track double CD before launching into nine older songs and a cover of Wand's "Fire on the Mountain." Contrary to the increasingly soft takes on his albums, Segall's live set was a high-energy guitar-powered assault. Segall recreated '60s guitar tones, played with reverb and feedback, making his fierce, ballsy fretwork a stomping counterpoint to his soft pop vocals and pop hooks. Segall did this with all the grace of a Laguna Beach surfer.
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