SXSW 2013: Foxygen @ The Stages on Sixth 03.13

Posted March 14, 2013 in
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Energetic youngsters Foxygen performing at The Stages on Sixth. Photo: Esther Merono

How did the environment/atmosphere impact the performance?
I wish I had seen Foxygen play a night show, preferably in a cemetery, because seeing them on a bar stage in the early afternoon with day-drunks talking loudly behind me wasn't really conducive to their gothy, retro-rock style and experimental sound. Vocalist Sam France even apologized (though they were putting on a great set), saying it was "too early," and guitarist Jonathan Rado piped in that we should definitely come see one of their later shows. Still, seeing them so early in the day was definitely an energy booster, as France's spastic performance in combination with their psych-rock guitars and choir-esque choruses was more than entertaining.

What was the funniest thing said on stage?
Other than everyone chuckling when Rado answered "I don't know, it's on the Internet?" to a question about the whereabouts of their next show, France was the dramatic comedian of the group. He didn't say much between songs, but his mumbly vocals interspersed with wide-eyed shrieks and the occasional sobbing had me wondering whether he was making up the lyrics as he went along.

If this band came to SLC, where would you want to see them play?
Kilby would most definitely be preferred. Foxygen look like they're just barely sprouting out of their teens, and I think their experimental, psych-rock sound would work better with a young, all-ages crowd. France's eccentric performance style would also be the most successful and in a small venue where he can get up close and personal, "spitting and kicking" along with the rest of us (is how he put it, jumping into the crowd soon after). However, they're playing at Urban Lounge with Unknown Mortal Orchestra on Tuesday, March 19. Don't miss them.

Most memorable moment?
Again, France knows how to put on a good show. The inside stage at The Stages on Sixth is lined with open windows that look out onto 6th Street. The venue was at capacity, only allowing badge holders in as I sauntered up wielding my credentials, so I imagine there were some put-off fans standing outside trying to catch an earful of leftovers. Whether intentionally appeasing them, or just adding another flair of drama to the show, France made his way to one of the windows and leaned outside, singing to anyone waiting outside.

Did the music make you want to mosh, close your eyes and sway, or something in between?
Foxygen played a great mix of energetic, offbeat tracks with soulful guitars that wouldn't be out of place in the Rocky Horror Picture Show and made me want to move my feet, and some soft, psychedelic, minor-key ballads that I could see on the soundtrack for a remake of Harold and Maude. "Shuggie," "San Francisco" and "Make It Known" were my favorites, check 'em out.

Energetic youngsters Foxygen performing at The Stages on Sixth. Photo: Esther Merono