To say the least, Foxygen has had its ups and downs since the release of their beloved We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic in 2013. And that’s to say the least. Through it all, the band proved at The Dise on Saturday that they’re here to stay with a more polished sound than ever before while maintaining all of the absurd antics.
The group pulled heavily from their latest album …And Star Power, which dropped on Oct. 14 via Jagjaguwar Records. Foxygen kicked off the set with the single “How Can You Really” before indulging the crowd with a widespread favorite, “On Blue Mountain.” The latter song highlighted the three backup vocalists and dancers on stage clad in short, sparkly rompers.
Let me take a step back paint this full picture for you: Frontman Sam France came out in all his currently bleached blonde glory with an unbuttoned blazer, no shirt and leather pants that were all-around smaller than any leather pants ought to be. That very quickly transformed into France shirtless on stage wearing nothing but those tiny, tiny leather pants that showed the most conservative amount of butt crack at most times. France was at the top of his game, maintaining his vocal performance while also giving the crowd everything they’d come to expect from a Foxygen show. In short, France dances like a sensual mad man.
At one point the wild frontman threw water at the crowd, only to hug them profusely and loudly proclaim, “STAR POWER!” At one point in the theatrics, the lead singer of opening band Dub Thompson jumped on stage to briefly make out with the singer, steal his shirt, and leap into the audience to crowd surf away. I don’t think that even caught anyone off guard. I’ve never had the opportunity to see such raw, unfiltered insanity. The whole performance was eerily reminiscent of old-school Iggy and the Stooges live shows.
One thing was clear from the beginning of the group’s set: Foxygen’s sound had outgrown the venue it was confined in. The band’s dramatic performance and classic, upbeat sound kept the audience engaged and energetic, but unfortunately the sound quality missed the mark. Whether this was the fault of the band or the venue is unknown. Nonetheless, it was the tightest I’ve ever seen Foxygen perform – a good sign for what’s to come.
The band ended their set at just shy of an hour, before giving a riveting two-song encore that was possibly the highlight of the whole night. After the hit “No Destruction,” Foxygen closed the night with a souped up version of “Teenage Alien Blues” off 2012’s Take the Kids off Broadway, showing the progress the group has undergone in a mere two years.
Hailing from just outside of LA, the 19-year-old duo Dub Thompson opened the night with a 3-piece backing band. The band is kind of like those all-in-one baby foods, like the jars of turkey, peas and carrots mush you’ll find at the grocery store. This band was a jar of Foxygen, of Montreal, Flobots (that’s right, I said Flobots), rap, pop-punk mush in the most appropriate sense possible. Unlike baby food, Dub Thompson grew on the audience with time, probably winning the crowd over with all of their cowbell glory.
Dying for more Foxygen? You can check out the band’s whole discography on their Spotify page.