by Michael Glader
Let me tell you, Foxygen is a really fun show. This LA group pulls so many classic sounds and styles together into a perfect and nostalgic throwback vibe. In promotion of their recent release, …And Star Power, Foxygen is in the middle of a heavy touring schedule, including several US dates and many UK festival dates that reach deep into the upcoming summer months.
Foxygen exerts so much raw energy you can sense their power on their recordings, but seeing them live is a different experience. Coming in hot, Foxygen opened the set with their sophomore album’s title track, “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic.” Chaos and passion lead by front man, Sam France, there’s no missing him relentlessly work the stage. Sam France works as the epitomized, eccentric front man. Contorting like Iggy Pop, flamboyantly flailing like Mick Jagger, the comparisons can go on and on, but the honest truth is Foxygen is very much a conjured effort from rock’s great past. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s sexy, and it’s really meant to put on the best show possible with very simple elements… guitars, bass, drums, organ, classic female backup singers, and the attention grabbing front man.
Bouquets of flowers attached to each mic stand, strung lights draped across parts of the stage, and a large, black cloth with a white, pentagram looming high above the drummer’s head put the icing on the cake for Foxygen’s classic, rock n’ roll, healing appeal. They know what they’re going for, it’s simple, throwback, and they’re arguably doing a really good job at it. The set featured familiar favorites from their sophomore album including, “On Blue Mountain,” “San Francisco,” “No Destruction,” and more. Though Foxygen did play a few songs from their most recent release, …And Star Power, you could most definitely see a deeper, more profound audience connection to their sophomore release, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic.
Despite the fact they are nothing short of attention grabbing, my only hang-up was the over exertion of energy. They displayed so much energy and were so fierce, their fundamental dynamics and playfulness in tone was a bit lost in the excitement. There’s a lot of finesse in their recordings from quick time changes, dynamic swooping parts, and style of singing from Sam France, and I feel that was a bit lost in their live performance. Foxygen is a younger band and they’re having the time of their lives. There’s no question though, Foxygen will effortlessly pull you into their world and you will undoubtedly have a great time at one of their live performances.