Ty Segall & The Freedom Band
April 13, 2018 @ Brooklyn Steel
By: Ingrid Angulo
Garage rock is great. The genre’s easy-going with a bite, simultaneously lazy and intense. Ty Segall exemplifies this perfectly with his low-maintenance look and music that can turn into fast-paced in-your-face punk at any moment. At the age of 30, he’s released an insane amount of music no setlist could ever cover, unless he decided to play a three-day festival where he’s the only act.
This time around, Ty was touring his recently released Freedom’s Goblin with the help of his band, The Freedom band. The new record felt like a compilation of the styles he’s toyed with throughout his prolific career, but the show didn’t encompass those style varieties enough. There were a few songs that felt a bit softer or a bit more intense, yet most of the songs blended together in the middle of the set.
‘Alta,’ ‘Finger,’ and ‘Every 1’s a Winner’ (a cover of 70s soul band Hot Chocolate’s song) were the three bangers of the first half. Where other songs fell flat, those three tracks hyped the crowd up and got everyone dancing and singing along. ‘Every 1’s a Winner’ was my personal favorite of the three. The funky groove of the original is great as is and Ty managed to add his own spin to it without losing the funk of the original.
The biggest problem with this show had nothing to do with Ty and his band; their performance was fantastic. The problem laid with the crowd. I won’t go complain about every single person because there was a decent mix of people there, but there was an overwhelming feeling I couldn’t shake that I wasn’t supposed to be there.
The discomfort manifested itself when I leaned over the balcony to get a photo of the crowd and promptly had my shoulder caressed by an older man standing directly behind me. Yikes. I managed to escape but afterwards, the combination of songs blending into each other and guys much bigger than me slamming into me created an awful sensation of discomfort.
When Ty and his band played ‘Wave Goodbye’ though, everything started to feel okay again. The song is technically by the Ty Segall Band (another one of his projects) yet so quintessentially sums up the best of his style that the name formality doesn’t matter at all. It’s a face melting, distorted track full of angst, fuzz, and guitar shredding that masters a delicate balance between too soft and too heavy. The build-up towards the end served as a moment for the crowd to catch their breath while waiting for Ty to crank up his intensity to an 11 and start wailing over a deadly guitar solo. That performance was everything I could have asked for and more.
The encore following ‘Wave Goodbye’ paled in comparison. While ‘Caesar’ and ‘She’ are great songs, there was no way for them to stand on their own against the intensity of the prior performance.
Despite the creepy old men and the discomfort of being a 20-year-old girl barely over 5 feet in a crowd of tough dudes trying to prove their masculinity, Ty’s performance on a few key tracks made everything worth it. It wasn’t my dream setlist, but the songs I wanted to hear absolutely blew away my expectations.