Bricks and Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco performance review

Laura Kerry reviewed Foxygen’s recent performance for the San Francisco Bay Guardian:

At first listen, the band struck me as an almost unsettling echo of classic psychedelic rock. Even the album title bears striking resemblance to the names of 45-year-old concept albums such as The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. And the parallels to the Kinks and the Beatles do not stop there. “San Francisco,” with its sparkling circus instrumentals and soft tinny vocals sounds like any song off of Village Green, and a line about introductions in the album opener “In The Darkness” feels like a direct nod to the album opener of Sgt. Pepper’s.

And while this makes for a pleasant listening experience – who doesn’t want more of the Kinks and the Beatles? – I found the derivativeness slightly problematic.

As soon as the band came onto the small stage at Brick and Mortar, though, that didn’t matter. Wearing embroidered frocks, suede coats, and ruffled blouses, costumes to complement the sound, the band played through a long set that, for all of its performative aspects, never felt forced. Each tune, from the feverishly noisy title track to the wistful “No Destruction,” poured out of the five-member band with ease.