Foxygen Awes The Echo

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Foxygen was a name I heard floating around in the blogosphere, but something I (shamefully) never took the time to research. When I heard that the duo was playing with Moonface at The Echo, I figured I’d check them out. Why not?

Getting to that show early was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. Led by vocalist Sam France and keyboardist/guitarist Jonathan Rado, three additional musicians joined the two-piece on stage. As soon as the first note was struck, France, small in stature, seemed to grow four feet. He loomed over the crowd, entranced by the music he was creating as he twitched and paced across the stage, at times yawping, others mumbling, but mostly crooning in a voice that did not fit his body.

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In between bouts of musical possession, the young singer spoke borderline incoherently to the crowd, talking about topics ranging from how happy he was to be back in his hometown of Los Angeles to what bands out there were true, genuine Satanists. Though it was a bit loony, the crowd enjoyed his antics and laughed at all his cuckoo jokes.

During the psychedelic rockers’ forty-minute long set, they previewed a slew of new songs. The tracks, which should appear on a forthcoming album slated for an early 2013 release, included a mellow, psychic trip called “Cosmic Vibrations,” a crunching, lo-fi anthem called “666,” and a ballad to San Francisco, aptly titled, “San Francisco.” Foxygen weaved these fresh tunes in with standout tracks from its remarkable debut album, Take The Kids Off Broadway, which dropped this summer via Jagjaguwar. Here’s the video for “Make It Known,” from their debut LP:

The most impressive aspect of this group is the members’ ages. Both France and Rado were born a mere 22 years ago, but they should have grown up in the ‘60s. Inspired by the likes of David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Brian Jonestown Massacre, the two-piece is able to both pay homage to these legends while creating something entirely new. It’s jaw dropping to see a scrawny, baby-faced 22-year-old step on stage and perform like Mick Jagger.

Wednesday night was Foxygen’s last gig on tour with Moonface, but I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more about them in the months to come, and don’t be surprised if you see Take The Kids Off Broadway on some “best of 2012” lists (including mine).

Photos taken by Katrina Nattress

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