Ty Segall / Ex-Cult / K-Holes / Teenanger Phoenix, Toronto, ON, February 6
Published Feb 07, 2013For a man with such a rapidly growing discography of material — we're talking three albums alone last year, and new songs already being released this year — Ty Segall has enough of a back catalogue stored for a multiple-hour show. But like most great punk artists know, the key to a successful show isn't length, but the quality of the jams squeezed into the most compact, short but sweet set.
Openers Ex-Cult, Teenanger and K-Holes all abided by the same rule, more out of formality of being openers, but their brief sets became the perfect slices of high-velocity guitar rock to get fans riled up and ready for the main act. The former two acts particularly elevated their made-for-basement garage fuzz to a level that commanded attention on the bigger stage at the Phoenix — a stage that literally elevates the band and takes away the otherwise intimate connection you'd make with them in a smaller, more fitting venue.
K-Holes, while boasting a vivacious and almost Courtney Love-esque frontwoman, as well as a dynamic saxophonist, failed to make an impression beyond their cacophonous sludge punk. Perhaps, they were just overshadowed by the rest of the bill, though.
Big stage or not, Ty Segall knows how to stir up a crowd, get people moving and turn up the heat. His four-piece band ripped through song after song like a well-run marathon that they've clearly perfected throughout the years. Drawing heavily from 2012 standouts Slaughterhouse and Twins, Segall created the perfect storm of '70s rock, punk and garage, simultaneously dizzying and euphoric.
Where Segall excels is in the glimpses of sweet harmonies he builds up right before blowing them up with a loud screech, such as on "Tell Me What's Inside Your Heart," showing that underneath the chaotic thrashing, these are all great songs that he's delivering. Again, this is one prolific person who not only churns out great albums at lightning speed, but also one who translates his visions into a live setting that shakes and reminds you of all this.
At the end of the night, not only did the 45-minute set feel like two hours, but you were left salivating for more. And, surely, Segall will have plenty more to give in the coming years.