Foxy Shazam – 05/30/2014
Bowery Ballroom – New York City
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
The day had finally come. Foxy Shazam have returned to New York City. You know that we here at Concert Confessions are devout members of the Church of Rock & Roll, myself being baptized three times in 2012. One of the best shows I saw in 2012 was Foxy Shazam at the Bowery Ballroom, so when a show was announced happening in May at the very same Bowery Ballroom it was my duty to make sure I was there. We’ve got doors at 8PM with Foxy due on at 10 with openers Larry And His Flask filling the inbetween time. Me? I’m arrived on line about 6:45 ready to party.
Upon entry to the a Bowery Ballroom there was one thing on my mind besides the awesome tunes ahead: hope none of these people in front of me dart upstairs to the table I’m eyeing as a spot for this evening endeavors. I made it up to the balcony and landed the 3rd table down, as the first two were “reserved”.
Larry and His Flask rolled out at 9 on the dot packing some mother plucking twangery! I mean that literally as they got a dude on banjo (doubling on trombone), a big stand up bass, acoustic guitar to the far right next to their electric guitar player with their drummer in the middle. Vocal melodies that sound like they could be inserted into any 50s song and work, almost sounded like some sort of heavy Barber shop quartette power country music. We sure got weird. Larry and His Flask had no trouble gaining momentum from the already seemingly won over crowd. Things uttered like “This is a song about a suicide cult so dance your asses off” is what truly makes this a good ol’ fashioned hoe down! Solid for a band you look at with a reaction of “what the hell?”. They went off at 9:45.
With a 10PM listed set time, the chants of “FOXY!” were growing and growing in the crowd, the sold out crowd here packed to the gills at the Bowery getting ready to go completely GONZO. And that’s what happened at 10:15 in more ways than one when the boys hit the stage, looking a bit over dressed for the occasion, here to showcase their latest effort for us (‘Gonzo’) here in the first portion of their set. The title track and ‘Poem Pathetic’ set the tone for “Brutal Truth” which was a brutally magnificent song to experience live from these guys. When “Tragic Thrill” and “Have The Fun” followed it was clear that we were going to exclusively explore all of these newer cuts live early in the set and you could not have found one person in the building who would have been unhappy with that. Have The Fun was like having the entire crowd eating out of this bands hand.
Foxy Shazam has become a well oiled live act these days. Just straight burning down stages across the country. After they played the entire new record front to back Eric says to us “We’re gonna go change real quick and come right back”. I knew something was up. They seemed dressed too much like normal folks tonight and one might interrupt that as Foxy Shazam in fact going Gonzo.. Gonzo to them is normal to us.
Then around 11 when they came back out to more “Foxy!” chants peppered with some “We want the cup!” chants in regards this writers favorite hockey team advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals the previous evening. Gotta love this town, right? Now we’ve got ourselves a whole new ballgame on our hands. They kinda played two sets, but these guys aren’t pretentious enough to tell folks they’re playing two sets. They didn’t play the new record with a handful of well known tunes thrown between. Here’s the new for you to rock to, now here’s the greatest hits portion of the night. And what better way to intro into some classics than with “Bombs Away”.
Then we begin to head towards a Church of Rock & Roll atmosphere here at Bowery when some “Oh Lord”, although not off that record it has Lord in the title (which included a jump into the crowd by Eric), and “Holy Touch” action began to ensue.
Man do these guys slay or what? I feel like this is my first time seeing them again. Alex on the horns and co-vocals really showing some range tonight. Felt like a band with two front men. And there’s a different stage set up here as we got my man on keyboards in the back. Guess no crowd surfing for Schuyler tonight, although a later image of him playing the keyboard while lifting it on his shoulder happens during “Killin’ It” after they performed a building rocking “Yes Yes Yes”.
The place has their second wind now as Eric is telling us that he’s from Ohio and he’s happy to be in New York because: “I feel all people from Ohio are very thankful to be in New York”.. followed by a drum beat and Eric saying “This next one is about my favorite flavor”and that’s when shit got real and the place exploded when “I Like It” went down.
I tried so hard to muddle my screams, because I’m taping this entire set but this is just incredible! “Evil Thoughts” kept things moving into a main staple at the end of their gigs: The Only Way To My Heart. An awesome adventure into what Foxy Shazam is and what they represent.
“Keep your flowers I’ll just give ’em back”. Four times seeing these dudes and they have made one thing clear to me, they give not a zero fuck about what I or anyone else thinks of them. They don’t need anything from us, they’re here to kick ass with guitars and horns and keys.
Well, Eric Nally does need one thing at the end of this song, he needs a cigarette. So as I took my Newport short out of my ear and flung it no where near the stage not by design (I used to throw like a dude, don’t know what happened there) this dude is picking up cigs on stage as the band is gearing up for “Unstoppable”, before which a little 30 seconds or so of Longview, which was different.
Unstoppable would be the show closer as the band tore through that last one as Eric waited til the song ended to eat the lit cigs. Then before the house music came on he goes “We’re all pregnant..”, drops the mic and walks off. It’s about 11:30 as I stand and bow towards the stage repeatedly. I am not worthy of what just happened there, hell, none of us were.
I’m Jay Porks, and I’ve gone Gonzo. Late.