Sex Church opened the sold out Ty Segall show at the Waldorf on Friday, May 4, and played a loose and somewhat detached bunch of songs for the small excited crowd. They threw down a more experimental than usual set of neo-psych garage rock and spent the majority of the time stretching tracks with solid progressive breakdowns. The band closed with “Mistaken,” which had a steady build and noisy breakdown, and indistinguishable shouted, repetitive lyrics over a thrashing grimy guitar riff that almost pushed past its limits. It tied the set together with a heavy memorable finish.
Vancouver-bred three-piece Nü Sensae with Daniel Pitout on his locomotive drum set, Andrea Lukic on bass and vocals and Brody McKnight crushing his guitar strings, took the stage and revved up the growing audience with some heavy percussion and thunderous distortion. Lukic led the trio through rugged tracks “Whispering Rule” and “Curdle Ale Cream” on the strength of her demon scream. If you haven’t yet heard these guys live yet, you should. And practice your elbow throw; you’ll need it.
Following Nü Sensae was a tall order. The impressive thing about LA’s White Fence – beyond the guitarist’s mustache – was their ability to seamlessly weave grungy and progressive guitar swells in amongst their poppy surf punk sound. The music was melodic and easily accessible. “Swagger Vets and Double Moon” started with a promising atmosphere of bouncy distorted guitar lines atop centrepiece Tim Presley’s slack drawl, then dissolved into a Queens of the Stone Age-esque noise-swell, which energized the otherwise chill jam and kept the audience moshing.
Headliner Ty Segall’s blend of ‘70s guitar and California garage rock is legendary. There’s no question as to why this guy has over six other projects on the go throughout the San Francisco Bay area. He’s got classic shreddy fingertips that bands such as the Perverts and White Fence want – and have – their hands on. Segall’s prowess was best showcased when they played “Girlfriend,” where his sweet choppy ‘70s guitar swagger and old school yelp sent the crowd to surf, and even Segall ﬂoated atop the mosh pit while ripping his ﬁnal solo before the encore. He was the show to end the audience’s hunger and his set stood out amongst the rest of the acts. He may have even covered “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, better than Black Sabbath could play it themselves.