Ty Segall

support J.C. Satàn
author BV date 07/11/14 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

My affection towards Ty Segall’s explosive garage-rock exploits dates back to 2010 when I coincidentally came across an album of his called “Melted”. At the time, I dug the album quite a lot but it would be quite a long time before his music really started settling in under my skin. With the release of “Slaughterhouse”, Segall’s musical craftsmanship had settled right into my immediate consciousness, making me yearn for an opportunity to see this musical mayhem in action. As time went by, several more releases under different monikers showcasing different musical styles surfaced, but the live experience constantly eluded me. Now, with the release of his mature, somewhat conceptual album called “Manipulator”, Segall finally returned to Denmark to a sold out show at the upstairs part of Pumpehuset. As the time approached 21:00, not that many had turned up but J.C. Satàn, the support of the night, were ready to take the stage.

All photos courtesy of Stefan thor Straten

J.C. Satàn

As J.C. Satàn took the stage, this marked the first time in many months where I had not had the time to do my research from home before going to a gig – thus I had no idea of what was to come. Mere seconds into their set, a bombastic wall of fuzz thundered out the amplifiers to such an extent that my earplugs quickly became insufficient. Armed with a manic stage presence, several of the five members twisted and contorted their bodies to match the aggression of their music, warping their facial expressions to the point of utter madness. Ranging from relatively short outbursts of sonic destruction and lengthy, highly dynamic fuzz-jams, J.C. Satàn proved to be an impressive live experience in their own right with a power to win over an ever-growing crowd with songs most of the people present probably hadn’t before. As these lengthy, groovy exploits proceeded, the band’s drummer continued to amaze me – whilst not doing anything wildly technical or anything it was his sheer presence and the way in which he locked himself into the groove that I came to appreciate quite a bit. Bearing a slight resemblance to Animal from The Muppet Show, he ferociously pounded the skins of his drums to the point of inflicting minor injuries on himself, yet never letting those minor injuries stop him from carrying on the groove. All in all a very decent first impression that has assured me of one thing – I must remember to check out some of their recorded output.

7

Ty Segall

As the time approached 22:15, the crowd was faced with the appearance of a strange-looking gentleman on stage. As he went rambling on about his origins (apparently hailing from some moon near a planetary body which I cannot recall) and how he and Ty Segall’s band had blazed a trail across the US only to come to Europe to tear this particular place apart too, some crowd-members looked confused, others were entertained and there were those who, apparently, were in complete synch with this guy’s strange rants. As he then went on to play the opening riff of “Manipulator” on a synth – only to be immediately backed by the band in its entirety, one could say that the party had been launched. No time was wasted, as the band then launched into “It’s Over”, a track that already has quite a significant pace to it, yet had been sped up even further to a break-neck pace during this particular evening – adding a ferocious and maddening vibe to an already unruly wall of fuzz and gutting low-end in the mix. Introducing a sense of humor to the show, Segall ventured into a call-and-response screaming match with large portions of the audience before finally saying something along the lines of; ”there’s nothing quite like screaming into a microphone. I highly recommend you go try it some time. That’s my tip of the day!” With “Tall Man Skinny Lady” the tempo remained consistently high, whilst also introducing the slightly softer spectrum of Segall’s discography to a crowd of party-craving onlookers.

If it was a party they wanted, however, they sure as hell got it when the band launched into “Feel”, a track which consists of equal parts hit-material and uncompromising fuzz-assaults. Mere seconds into the opening riff of “Feel”, mosh pits broke out all around the venue, resulting in a delightful sense of mayhem, chaos and euphoria all at once. As several crowd members continuously got up on stage only to plunge directly into the crowd again, it was cemented once and for all that neither Segall, his band or the crowd were interested in taking it easy at all – fortunately! Coming up on “The Faker” and “The Singer”, Segall’s highly characteristic vocals resounded strongly throughout the mix, as Mikal Cronin and his fuzzy bass had a less dominant role throughout the songs, whilst still making himself heard. A staple of the show could easily be said to be drummer Emily Epstein and her strangely subtle drumming that still yielded enough power to follow the fuzzy warfare of Ty Segall and Charles Moothart’s guitars, whilst also providing a heavy low-end of its own which complemented Cronin’s raucous bass-lines.

Some twelve songs into the set, Segall and his fuzz-loving maniacs finally started treating the audience to tracks that weren’t from “Manipulator”. Via “I Bought My Eyes”, the crowd was introduced to Ty Segall Band’ “Slaughterhouse” album and the glorious heaviness, primal power and exceptional songwriting that was featured on it, while tracks like “You’re the Doctor” and “Thank God for Sinners” reminded the audience of the fact that Ty Segall is no one hit wonder who has suddenly experienced immense hype. He has worked for it, and all of these tracks – diverse and exceptional in their own right – portray different, albeit not unrelated aspects of his musical taste ranging from the pure garage sound of “I Bought My Eyes” over to the break-neck speed and punk-like ferocity of “You’re the Doctor”, before finding its way back to the quirky “Caesar”. ”I went to church and I went to school / I played by all of your golden rules / but now it’s time to wave goodbye / bye-bye!” screamed Segall from the stage as he and his band ventured into initial set-closer “Wave Goodbye” – making sure that the set ended with the wall of monolithic fuzz that it well and truly deserved, before Segall and his companions would inevitably return to the stage for a single encore in the form of “Slaughterhouse” – briefly, and humorously, preceded by a tongue-in-cheek cover of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication”. There’s really no other way to define a live experience with Ty Segall than to call it a truly rad party with some pretty mean guitars and excellent songs creating the ultimate framework for one such party.

Setlist:

  • 1. Manipulator
  • 2. The Connection Man
  • 3. Tall Man Skinny Lady
  • 4. Feel
  • 5. The Faker
  • 6. The Singer
  • 7. The Clock
  • 8. Green Belly
  • 9. Don't You Want to Know? (Sue)
  • 10. Susie Thumb
  • 11. The Crawler
  • 12. The Feels
  • 13. I Bought My Eyes
  • 14. Finger
  • 15. You're the Doctor
  • 16. Thank God for Sinners
  • 17. Oh Mary
  • 18. Caesar
  • 19. Standing at the Station
  • 20. Wave Goodbye

--Encore--

  • 21. Californication (Red Hot Chili Peppers cover)
  • 22. Slaughterhouse

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