Saturday night bought Los Angeles’s Foxygen and Portland’s Wampire to the Firebird on a rain-soaked evening. The show was actually a triple bill with Unknown Mortal Orchestra closing the night, but I had to leave early to attend a party, making me feel pretty bummed out since I do wanted to check out UMO. What I did see from the evening though was pretty satisfying in its own right.
Wampire are a relative new band, having only released a couple of singles with their debut full length Curiosity coming out in May. But the set that they showcased made them look like they were already pros in this thing, easily winning over the early crowd and making people jump on their feet. Their sound, true to their band name, has an off-kilter, almost sinister mix of heavy synth pop. I really enjoyed it a lot and am now very much looking forward to their full-length release.
I was a big fan of Foxygen‘s debut record, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, so they were the band I was most looking forward to seeing that evening. And they certainly put on a very interesting show. It is impossible to talk about Foxygen without talking about lead man Sam France. There is a sort of madness and craziness in how he commands the stage that makes him such a compelling showman. Now there is no denying that some people may be put off with France’s actions during the show. Between his incoherent ramblings in between songs and him dropping microphones left and right (with vocalist Lizzie Fey valiantly trying to pick up the pieces), you may be forgiven for thinking France is either drunk or high. And while there were definitely moments of sloppiness (see video for San Francisco below), when France is on however, like he was during the title track, he leads the band to a whole another level. I, for one, really enjoyed it, sloppiness and all. I thought Foxygen were great during the set and that France is a superstar.
Check out photos from the evening’s concert, along with videos of Wampire playing their first single The Hearse and after-mentioned San Francisco from Foxygen, embedded below.