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Ty Segall & The Freedom Band laid waste to Bowery Ballroom (review, pics, video)


Ty Segall & The Freedom Band are playing extended residencies at cities around the world this year, where they’re playing new album First Taste in full, followed by different older albums in full. Friday at Bowery Ballroom was the penultimate show in Ty’s five-night stay in NYC and if they had ended the show after playing First Taste, it still would’ve been one of the best shows I’ve seen this year. First Taste is a wow of a record, maybe his best to date, that features two drummers and zero guitars. I’m not sure the no guitar rule held for the performance (my sightline, Ty was usually in profile) but there weren’t many. Shannon Lay played bass or bouzouki (I think) most of the time, and Mikal Cronin was on keyboards, saxophone and recorder. But Ty and the rest of the six-piece Freedom Band had no trouble making a crazed, heavy, loud-as-hell rock n’ roll experience.

First Taste really makes the most of that two-drummer lineup and they do so on this tour too, with Charles Moothart as the backbone and Ty moving to a kit near the front of the stage at least once per song. When Ty and Charles were dueling with each other, that’s when things really cook, mixing krautrock rhythms and hard rock / psych riffs, building steam throughout the set, culminating with the awesome, mandolin-and-sax-heavy “Lone Cowboy.” You can watch video of “I Worship the Dog” from Friday’s show below.

From there, The Freedom Band morphed into a more traditional rock lineup and the proceeded to play Emotional Mugger, one of the weirder, acid-fried records in Ty’s catalog. The crowd was already riled up and shifted into bananas overdrive here, an contant sea of undulating bodies, who at one point held up Ty as he solo’d. I’ve seen Ty a lot over the last 10 years and this maybe have been the best yet. What a great show.


Japanese psych band DMBQ made for a great first course before First Taste, their set felt at times like it was made up entirely of intros and outros — a lot of build up and teasing, with little release. Singer/guitarist Shinji Masuko donned a vintage gas mask and kept singing (though the mic wiring didn’t totally work) while they dismantled their stage gear at the end of the set.

Ty Segall & the Freedom Band wrap up their five-night NYC residency tonight (10/5) at Brooklyn Steel and they’ll play 2014’s Manipulator in addition to First Taste. DMBQ open again and tickets are still available.

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