Jun 23, 2018

Car Seat Headrest @ Paradiso, Amsterdam

Well this show was very special. As good a show that I have ever been to. Will Toledo is some sort of musical prodigy genius. His band Car Seat Headrest are extra special so the chance to see them live on my European jaunt in the wonderful city of Amsterdam felt like it definitely could be a special night. And it was. Every second of this night would be burnt into my memory. Great venue (a converted church), great and enthusiastic crowd and a perfect set list made for a night I won't ever forget. Ever.

In 2016 Car Seat Headrest released the wonderful 'Teens of Denial'. This followed a slew of home albums that eventually caught the attention of the music world. This year one of those albums, 'Twin Fantasy', was given a reworking and re release. The results were fantastic, one of the best listens of 2018. So this show would hopefully showcase those two albums plus a few other gems for good measure. So it proved. Seattle trio Naked Giants warmed up the crowd with a fun and joyous set. Then they actually morphed into Will's band. As Naked Giants and the two other regular band members joined the stage they started with an Instrumental break before Will joined in and the band launched into a Lou Reed cover. It was sheer perfection for the rest of the night. The extra guitarist actually allowed Will to go guitar less for all but two songs. This also allowed him to engage in his slightly dorky dancing. And yes there was much dancing. This started with the infectious 'Bodys' and then never let up. It was all great but I especially loved the riotous 'Cute Thing' and the older gem in 'America (Never Been)'. Will's songs are just huge in scope and design, featuring anthemic builds and insane hooks. Plus incredibly intelligent and humane lyrics. It's a potent mix. One that had all of this night in raptures through out. Then to top it off the encore was perfection. Will started the haunting 'Sober to Death' solo and then they closed with the epic 'Beach Life-In-Death'. I was transported to nirvana for the entire night. I think we all were.

Set List
Intro/Waves of Fear (Lou Reed cover)
Fill in the Blank
Maud Gone
Destroyed by Hippie Powers
(Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn't a Problem)
Cute Thing
America (Never Been)
Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales
Nervous Young Inhumans

Sober to Death
Beach Life-In-Death

Jun 16, 2018

Ty Segall @ Trix, Antwerp

In recent years Ty Segall has become of my favourite artists. The ever prolific Californian guitarist has unleashed a slew of quality music in recent times. His blend of ear for melody and guitar heroics has made him a firm favourite in my heart. I recently decided to attend Primavera Sound in Spain with Ty's spot on the lineup a major factor. So I thought it would be a good idea to find a show elsewhere in Europe that his band was playing. I landed in the ancient city of Antwerp in Belgium and it was a good decision. The city is historic and beautiful and worth the trip and I got to see Ty perform in his own show at a venue named Trix.

It was a big lineup supporting Ty with two stages and seven bands. But it was Ty I came to see and hear and for an hour and a half they just blistered the stage. The Freedom band is his latest band of friends to play with him live. They are tight and expert. His longtime friend Mikal Cronin on bass combines expertly with drummer Charles Moothart to form a formidable rhythm section. Emmitt Kelly is a sublime guitarist and is a great foil to Ty, whilst Ben Boye  provides ample colour on keyboards. The whole night was a bit of a blur and I don't have the full set list. Suffice to say it totally rocked. They opened with the pounding rock anthem 'Wave Goodbye' then ran through a set of Segall classics such as 'Finger' and 'Caesar'. Of course they played a strong selection from this year's wonderful new album in 'Freedom's Goblin'. Tracks such as 'Alta' and 'Fanny Dog' were especially well received. They even encored with a Beatles tune in 'one After 909'. My only complaint about the show was the sound. The guitars were tuned way up virtually stomping all over the vocals. Which was a shame because the energy in the room was off the charts and the sound was the only thing stopping this night becoming one of the greatest music nights of my life.