Ty Segall and the Freedom Band returned to the Belly Up Tavern guitars blazing, delivering a night of unruly rock and roll.
Opening the sold-out night on Wednesday, January 24th was Shannon Lay (Feels). She performed a solo set of songs from her latest album, Living Water, a gorgeous album featuring vocals backed by sparse acoustic guitar. At the end of her set, she asked, “Stoked for some fuckin’ Ty Segall and the Freedom Band?”, which elicited a loud response of cheers from the audience.
As the band assembled on stage, it wasn’t hard to see that Ty Segall had gathered some of Los Angeles’ best musicians for this project. With Emmett Kelly (the Cairo Gang) on guitar, Mikal Cronin on bass and saxophone, Charles Moothart on drums, and Ben Boye on Rhodes/Clavinet, the onstage talent was palpable. Dressed in all white, their outfit coordination was almost matched by their absolute shredding.
The show opened with the beautiful piano melody of “Alta” (off of Freedom’s Goblin, Segall’s latest album released on January 26th) with Segall crooning in a high register. The band joined in moments later capturing the whole room’s attention. As Segall ripped through some of his best songs, the mosh pit began to grow exponentially.
After the sprawling version of “Sleeper” (now appropriately re-titled “And, Goodnight“), the band closed the main set out with one of their heaviest fuzz-laden numbers, “Wave Goodbye.” Segall’s lengthy set-list demonstrated that he could reach into every corner of rock music and create songs that are not only catchy, but made to last.
Naturally, the crowd demanded more songs and the band happily obliged. As the encore ended, there was a shoe missing, PBRs spilled, and smiles on everyone’s faces.