Thee Oh Sees
Take everything I said about Ty Segall's set and multiply it by three. That is what Thee Oh Sees were like. For the 50 minutes they were on stage a sense of insanity took hold of the crowd and the Black Stage. I don't know why I haven't listened more to Thee Oh Sees now, but I have learned my lesson. They were twitchy, spastic animals, playing hyper psych-damaged garage rock that that was both insanely off-kilter yet super catchy as well. That they not only kept that degree of energy through out their entire set, with all their songs, but lent the excess to the crowd, who happily went crazy, it beyond impressive. All hail the glory that is Thee Oh Sees and the twisted, glorious music they make.
Okkervil River's set felt a lot like their songs; so filled with different elements that it feels like it is going to burst at the seems. Will Sheff and co. burst on stage and performed like the rock stars they sing about. Okkervil River are always great live, where Sheffs's sounds and more so his lyrics are give much more roof to stretch, but with this line-up they gave new life to songs that were still thriving. "Our Life is not a Movie or Maybe" eve sounded more potent then here with Sheff nearly screaming out the lyrics. Pair together with ripe new songs like "Rider" or "Our Past Life as a Blast", Okkervil River delivered a set filled with rock clichés (bright colored lights, constant hand claps requests from the audience), but managed to escape all of them and pull something exuberant and great from it.
I don't know how to put into words Reggie Watts' performance. Parts stick out: squeaky voices, a robot dance, randomness in its purest form, and loops upon loops upon loops. All separate this comes off as some surrealist nightmare. But let me tell you that in Watt's hands I never stopped laughing. He deconstructs comedy right before your eyes and puts it together in a new, askew shape that makes you scratch your head, but still giggle the same time. I don't know how he does it, make comedy out of pure randomness, but he does and it is slightly magical every time you see it.
I don't know what drew me to Public Enemy. Something in the back of mind told me to close out Friday night with them. Apparently my mind knew what was going to happen with Danzig, but that is besides the point. Public Enemy, after more than 25+ years, can still put on a good show. It wasn't perfect, with the stage banter sometimes coming off as time killing, and a weird part of the show dedicated to showing off Flavor Flav's nephew's abysmal rap skills. Still, the rhythm between Mike D and Flav has barely disintegrated in all this time, and Mike D is still the same killer performer you have always heard about. The bombast, from the lights to the noise to performers on stage, could be overwhelming and disconcerting, but to a degree that what's Public Enemy has always been about. Oh, and "Fight the Power" threw everyone in the crowd into a mad frenzy, and that should always be commended.