“I think I’m on mescaline.” So said Sam France lead singer of Foxygen at the end of his set. A weird and awesome way to end a set. I didn’t even know mescaline was still around and yet I’m impressed that this guy was able to play such an awesome set, albeit wandering and slightly nomadic while on it…he thinks. Foxygen was a little all over the place, but still musically sound. What they lacked in full on tonality, they more than made up for in connectivity with the audience and interest. I mean, seriously, what an interesting band. France wandered around the stage like a man in search of a home and still sang well enough to enthrall the crowd.
After that trip came another with Spencer Krug’s latest incarnation Moonface. If Krug wasn’t on something then I have lost all sensory perception. At one point he stated, “I can already smell the weed smoke wafting up to the stage. That’s not a bad thing. Cheers.” And then he held up a plastic cup that looked like water, but could’ve been something else. I don’t think booze was the culprit here, but again it didn’t inhibit the ability to put on a phenomenal show.
Krug, at times uncertain what to do with himself and at others completely entranced by his own sound was magnificent. As I stood there, with my bro-lo el cunado, I turned and said, “These guys would’ve been the biggest band in the world in the mid to late ‘80’s. 25 years ago they’d have made a billion dollars.” That’s only minor hyperbole, what Moonface is trying to do with their gothic, Depeche Mode/Doors/Echo and the Bunnymen sound is reinvent the wheel and I love it. Forget pretension, forget trends, and forget trying to be what everyone else wants you to be. Spencer Krug is either a God damn genius or a maniacal mad man. Either way when he came to the stage and the lights, with their hypnotic turns from red to green to yellow flickered on his closed eyes we knew we were witnessing something odd, but great.
Today so much of our music is choreographed, stylized and planned out for us. We expect everything to be oh so perfect. We hear things like: the band jumped off the drum and then see 500 pictures from previous performances where they did the exact same thing. We, as fans, get the feeling that we’re no longer special, like our experience doesn’t matter, because it’s exactly the same as 100 others this act is doing on tour. They don’t give a flying fuck about you, they merely want to make their bones and move to the next town, like carnivals of days of yore. As for Krug and his band of Moonfaces we know now that this is simply not true. They have just come out with their debut album and as they ended with a weird, but amazing rendition of the Righteous Brothers, “Unchained Melody” everyone stood there in quiet admiration for a band that while different, played their hearts out for a diverse crowd of music hungry San Franciscans and for that we’re all the better.