RiverRocks free concert series continued Thursday with Foxygen, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, and The Aves (pronounced with a long A, like raves).
Foxygen was so fun to shoot. Singer Sam France worked that stage and crowd pretty much throughout the whole set, never once forgetting his role as front man and his duties in the performance.
Climbing up the monitors and walking the edge of the stage, France summoned the living spirits of the Bowie, Jagger, and even Jarvis Cocker (though perhaps unintentional) with sharp and dramatic arm gestures and some major hip wiggling, though Shakira he is not. France was definitely not too shy about rolling around on the stage as well, which always makes for nice photos and footage. All this done to the backdrop of the band’s psychedelic, 60s influenced work.
Foxygen was pure energy, but also a perfect 10 on the congeniality meter. They were just a few blokes on stage talking about anything and everything including Sam’s sweater; The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space, Air, Space, Space, Air museum. Don’t worry Jonathan Rado, we know it’s the ship with the Christmas lights on them; And graciously thanking the crowd as well as the porta-potties, which France soon came to realize was a really gross comment.
Near the end of the night, France facetiously requested the audience to not tweet, instagram, or youtube the show. So that’s how reverse psychology works!
Right before Foxygen was Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. Thao Nguyen apologized for bringing the San Francisco weather to New York. But an apology was not necessary, as Nguyen performed brilliantly with a plethora of stringed instruments including an acoustic and electric guitar, a mandolin, a banjo, as well as playing a guitar on a stand like a pedal steel, which was intense and absolutely mesmerizing.
Nguyen’s distinctive vocals are sexy, yet can’t be described as 100% smoky, soft, or husky, but just a wonderful mix of all. When she wasn’t singing, she went to town on her instruments, at times almost going into epileptic-like convulsions. Here’s another act that thrives on performance, but this time Nguyen works the crowd through her instrument. Here’s a quick clip of her in action:
The Aves from Adelaide, Australia started the night off and was well received. I definitely enjoyed them. Their catchy and guitar driven rock was reminiscent of 90s British music, which is always a good thing.
Singer Lucy Campbell was so impressed by the crowd’s reception to the band that she told the crowd she and the band wanted to hug everybody at the event. Well if the band had hugged everyone in the crowd, it would be today already.
The next RiverRocks free concert at Pier 84 is on August 8th with Titus Andronicus, Ducktails, and Juan Waters.
Here’s the photo gallery and before that a video of Foxygen performing ‘In the Darkness’
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‘In the Darkness’ by Foxygen: