Even though Zeus thoroughly slapped New York with heavy rains and ass-kickingly strong winds, Death By Audio’s dirty, smoky halls were filled to capacity for Ty Segall last night. The show wasn’t advertised on his or the venue’s website, making the shoulder-to-shoulder tight quarters even more surprising. Segall’s performance made the trek through the rain worth it. Apparently he works as a cabinet-maker while not on tour but should be able to quit that day job soon.
Segall and the rest of his shaggy-haired band took the stage in a fairly quiet manner. Segall is not the most charismatic stage performer. He doesn’t try to entertain the crowd between songs with jokes that were practiced in front of his bedroom mirror or go the opposite route of snarling at the audience, acting like he could really give a fuck if he were on the stage or not. The humble performer with the tattered vocal chords was there only to play the songs and play them right, and last night he did just that.
The night’s songs were split between highlights off of 2010’s critically praised Melted and new ones that were just as rocking. “Melted” inspired many in the crowd to launch their empty PBR cans across the room, and “Girlfriend,” a definite highlight, had the walls shaking.
A lot of the people in the audience could use a mosh-pit tutorial, as loud guitars don’t automatically need to equate to closed fists. At one point, Segall had to ask if we “were all being nice to one another.” Though, I got rocked in the gut by a small art-school looking girl during “Imaginary Person,” I could easily say that it was the least frightening mosh I’ve dealt with in my years. It didn’t have a lot to do with the fact that people were physically not intimidating. Everyone was so hammered that their moshing/crowd-surfing attempts usually ended with them on the floor, allowing for the person behind them to step over and move a little bit closer to the stage in the packed house. I guess in the end, it was the reason I was able to move from the back left corner to the front of the stage, so bravo, Death By Audio. Keep over-serving those hipsters.
“One more song!” chants started up as the group members put down their guitars and sticks at the end of the set. Many in the audience started calling out the names of songs they hadn’t heard. Segall looked taken aback by the fact that people knew any of the song names, so he looked at his band, shrugged his shoulders, picked up his guitar and shredded through one more golden garage-punk nugget.