Ty Segall took the stage at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on September 29th and caused an uproar of epic proportions that ended with half of the crowd on stage embracing the artist. From the moment he took the stage, the frenzied crowd members seemed to lose their minds, swelling with every guitar chord and bursting with every beat of the drum.
Opening for Segall was longtime collaborator and veteran musician, Mikal Cronin. In the vein of grimy garage band-esque performers with psychedelic tendencies, he found a startlingly perfect balance of smooth and gritty vocals with a hazy, intoxicating delivery. The softer harmonies and more tightly constructed melodies gave way to long and sprawling power ballad guitar chords, feverish intensity, and fuzzy resonation.
Following Cronin was the Detroit-based band Human Eye. Clad in a blue bandana and gold jacket, lead singer Timmy Vulgar looked like a cross between Jim Morrison and Gary Glitter. The psychedelic punk band amped up the crowd with songs like “Impregnate the Martian Queen” and “Slop Culture.” The climax of their set came as Vulgar threw on a massive fish mask- reminiscent of a B-horror movie, and proceeded to flail about the stage while delivering endless amounts of callous guitar riffs. Their performance was otherworldly and left heads reeling.
As the small floor of the Bowery Ballroom reached capacity Segall stepped on stage — Cronin by his side — and opened up with “Goodbye Bread,” the title track off his new album, and ignited an hour-long set of overwhelming passion, surging emotion, and moments of mosh pit violence. Segall performed several tracks from the new album and transformed their mellow tone with raw and unbridled intensity.
As he moved into “Girlfriends,” one his most beloved tracks, fans began to rush the stage. They climbed up alongside him and dove without fear into the crowd of their cohorts. Wiping his hair off his forehead, a devilish grin on his face, Segall kicked things up a notch, clearly loving the enthusiasm and passion of his audience. He delivered infectious dedications to Bodega Sandwiches and the people of New York, graciously received a locket from a fan, and kindly returned a phone to an overzealous body surfer.
After a surprising cover of “Lay Lady Lay,” by Bob Dylan he brought the set to a riotous finish. Mikal Cronin and his band — along with members of Human Eye — blew on stage for the encore, and from there all hell seemed to break loose. Fans climbed up onto the stage, screaming alongside the band while others floated above, being passed along by their fellow music lovers. Then the night came to a close as the house lights came on, and Segall thanked everyone for an amazing night in New York City.
It was a show that gave fans the best of old and new Segall with tracks like “Caesar”, “Sad Fuzz” and “Comfortable Home”. It was a show that spurred a bizarre and yet addictive sense of community and that was instantly infectious and hard to shake; an excellent performance by a talented and prolific musician.