Friday March the 2nd was a good night for rock and roll in the city of San Francisco. Ty Segall headlined a sold out show at the historic Great American Music Hall with support from White Fence, Mikal Cronin, and The Feeling of Love. This show marked a milestone in Ty’s career and served as a showcase for San Francisco’s burgeoning garage rock scene.
Headlining a sold out a show at the Great American Music Hall is no small task. Normally the venue is reserved for major bands on tour. I had seen all theses acts before, but mostly in smaller clubs with dim lighting and a shitty sound system. So it was a new experience to see them Friday night in such a grandiose setting. With it’s gold-trimmed balcony, elaborate lighting, and first-rate sound system The Great American Music Hall adds an air of importance to any musical performance.
This night was also diffrent beceause I am use too seeing Ty Segall perform in bars where there are no kids under twenty-one, and everyone is too cool to dance. The Great American Music Hall is an all ages venues. So the dance floor was packed with teeny boppers all shoved up against the stage, in a circle pit, dancing, moshing ,and crowd surfing. I can’t tell is Ty’s fans are getting younger or if I’m getting older. It’s probably a little of both. Either way things change and that is usually for the best.
In this video you can see the crowd’s sheer excitement :
Ty Segall is one of the most public face in San Francisco garage rock. He is a golden child of sorts. However he is only one of the more visible figures in a large and thriving scene.
There is an incestuas nature to the bay area and it’s music. That night Ty Segall played guitar during Mikal Cronin’s set and Mikal Cronin played bass during Ty’s Set. In addition Ty provided guitar for Cronin’s recently released solo album. They also collaborated on a couple of records together in 2009 . Though Mikal Cronin’s career has been closely tied to Ty’s, Mikal brought a unique voice to the Garage world by being more introspective, sensitive, and sincere than most of his contemporaries.
Mikal Cronin is as much a singer-songwriter as he is a rock & roller. He demonstrated that Friday night by taking to the stage with an acoustic guitar wrapped around his neck:
White Fence played third. They had the most tripped out and droning set of the night. Their front-man, Tim Presley, has had a long and evolving career in Rock and Roll. He started out in a hard-core band called The Nerve Agents. After their demise, Presley helped form Darker My Love which was a slower psychedelic rock group. He then became a member of The Strange boys, a garage band. But because he wasn’t writing songs for The Strange Boys, Presley formed White Fence to serve as an artistic outlet. He will be releasing two new albums this April: Woodsist Records is putting out a White Fence double LP entitled Family Perfume, and Drag City will be releasing a collaborative record with him and Ty Segall entitled Hair.
The droning psychedelic sound of White Fence:
Ty Segall shows no signs of fatigue. He has at least three new records in the works at the moment. With each one he plans to explore new and interesting territory. He describes his upcoming album with Tim Presley as “…a bit more drug influenced, a bit more psychedelic and weird.” He will also be releasing an eight track mini LP through In The Red Records. He is recording this album with his live band. Normally he records by himself, but he decided to cut a record with his live group in hopes of capturing the raw power and energy that he normally reserves for the stage. The third release will be another solo album through Drag City, who released his last album Goodbye Bread. But for this record Ty plans to go with a darker heavier sound: “I want to do a total glam Stooges-meets-Hawkwind or Sabbath, something like that…evil, evil space rock. Put a little Satan in space and you got the sound.”
The whole scene has come a long way in the last five years. The kids are coming out of the garage and into the studio. Ty Segall started playing reverb-rich surf-rock in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Through relentless recording and touring he has managed to ride that wave to bigger and better places.
Here is a video of Ty Segall’s band playing a couple of new and unreleased songs: