Neon Reverb report: Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees kick off the festival
Thu, Sep 13, 2012 (6:43 p.m.)
Photo: Andrea Domanick
More Neon Reverb
- Five thoughts on Neon Reverb’s fall 2012 edition
- Wrapping it up with Hunx and the Clams
- Moonface and A Crowd of Small Adventures
- The Big Friendly Corporation
- Spotify tour bus showcase
- Late-night with JJAMZ and Dry River Yacht Club
- Locals night at the Bunkhouse
- Crazy Chief's live debut
- Hip Hop Roots
- Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees kick it off
- Q&A: Moonface's Spencer Krug
- Q&A: Ty Segall
- 10 acts to catch
They came, they played, they left us covered in sweat and beer: That’s the takeaway from Neon Reverb’s opening night show at the Bunkhouse Tuesday night.
It’s been awhile since a sub-marquee, good ol’ fashioned rock act came through town, and on Tuesday, Vegas got three: SoCal’s Tijuana Panthers, the Bay’s hallowed garage misfits Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees.
With the molasses-paced malaise of the summer heat now lifted, fans were perhaps a little too eager to rock out and get rowdy at the outdoor gig. From the dance parties to the fistfights, here’s a rundown of the evening’s highlights:
Sound check: Only so much can be expected from the sound system at a midsize outdoor dive like the Bunkhouse. Unless you’re intimately familiar with their catalogs, the songs for both Segall and Thee Oh Sees tended to blur together as a result. Segall spent a solid 20 minutes futzing with his sound and starting songs over. His fine-tuning eventually made somewhat of an improvement, but with his brand of lo-fi scuzzed-out rock and with the festival’s low-key vibe, it’s best not to overthink these things.
Party foul: Way too many people who had way too much to drink in anticipation of the show. Not one but two fights broke out, one involving a Neon Reverb organizer and another involving an extremely drunk girl who was jonesing to brawl with anyone who so much as looked at her. To quote Thee Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer, “You guys need to cut that sh*t out right now.”
Party success: There is a time and a place for getting doused in beer while dancing in a crowd with strangers. And a late-night, late-summer outdoor garage rock show is definitely it.
New tunes: Segall, whose guitar virtuoso chops were in full force, rounded out the set with some brand new tracks that left us hungry for more. The songs deviated from the crunch and fuzz of his older records in favor of a sound that’s clearer, heavier and more complex, with—dare we say?—the slightest tinge of metal. It does well to further show off his skills as a guitarist and distinguish him from his lo-fi peers.
Getting sweaty: If Segall and Co. proved themselves as the evening’s best musicians, Thee Oh Sees won out as the best performers. From the get-go (“Hi, we’re Thee Oh Sees. If anyone knows where we can get drugs, please hook us up!”) to the finale (“Thanks, we’re Thee Oh Sees. We were serious about the drugs!”), the quartet was all about having fun. Dwyer constantly moved about the stage, pointing his guitar like a gun and howling while the rest of the band manned their instruments like a crew of sugar-high, trigger-happy teenagers aboard a battleship.
For better and for worse, their energy fed into the crowd’s raucousness, but you can’t really blame ‘em.