With SXSW right around the corner and not being able to go, the Wednesday show at the El Rio was the perfect substitute. The Bay Bridged is presenting the Bay Area Invasion over in Austin so this show was a little taste of what to expect. Thee Oh Sees, The Fresh & Onlys and Ty Segall all in the same venue was a treat and an added bonus another chance to see up and comers Baths.
The show started around 9 PM and packed around a small stage Baths took the stage and played a performance that seemed to me to lack the energy they had last week at Bender's bar. The vocals were a bit inaudible and not much guitar creativity except for the last song. Prepping for their tour with Oh Sees, they played a number of songs I didn't recognize from the free show so it seems they have a decent amount of songs ready to go; hopefully an EP or full LP is in the works because this band has potential.
Ty Segall soon followed and having loved his self titled release and his new album with Mikal Cronin I was very excited to see him perform. A little delay at first due to some mic connection problems and some tempers flaring but the wait was worth it. Ty started off slow with gentle guitar strummings, then within seconds the pace shot up by 100%. He debuted a lot of news songs, half his set was new material, and the crowd was into it. His energy was great and the music sounded great live. He may have the look of a surfer but he is a beast on a microphone.
The Fresh & Onlys seem to release so much music it is hard to keep up; two full albums, a new EP and countless 7''s and splits. Tim Cohen leads this group and they instantly present themselves as polished musicians. The music is more arranged and conducted and their set up was much complex, they used a full drum kit and guitar pedals which were not seen in the first two acts. The set was perfect and full of 60's-70's pop/psychedelica. Their girl back up singer was a notable absent so an easy fix to that was to bring a friend from the crowd. A great performance from a great band, they will be touring with King Kahn and The Shrines this Spring.
Lastly the band everyone was here to see. Arguably the best band coming out of San Francisco but for sure the most exciting. As soon as the first notes of "Enemy Destruct" were played all hell broke loose. The bar erupted into a violent mosh as the drunk and high patrons lost their minds. John Dwyer was on form and his guitar playing and shredding was unrelentless. The energy level was through the roof and the songs were blazing by at an incredible pace. After a few stilettos to the foot and hits to the back and ribs, I slowly migrated to middle where it was a bit calmer to take in what was Thee Oh Sees. A band you HAVE to see now before they blow up because this is one of the better bands of the garage-punk scenes. A little tweet from the Bay Bridged the next morning pretty much summed up the hour plus set: @thebaybridged: A guy humping the air along to Thee Oh Sees, you know it's THAT good.
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