OAKLAND — The 25th rendition of the Noise Pop Music Festival came to an end with a bang courtesy of Los Angeles rocker Ty Segall.
Segall opened his set with “Break A Guitar,” which has to be one of the best opening songs ever. The first ’70s glam guitar chords grab you and take you into the song and on this night prepared fans for what was going to be a loud show, filled with crowd surfing and moshing.
This was just the beginning. Segall segued into punk-garage-power pop track “Freedom,” with screaming guitars that also gave guitarist Emmett Kelly a chance to shine. More tracks off Segall’s new self-titled album followed. The songwriter explained how he wrote “Fanny” for his dog, whom he loves dearly. As he transitioned into “Finger,” off 2010’s Melted, he realized it just wasn’t good enough for the audience. Ty Segall, who is quite comedic, stopped midway through.
“You guys are paying audience members, and that was awful,” he said before restarting with the knobs turned to 11, with droning guitars that filled the air and dissonant piano by keyboardist Ben Boye that added fuzzy distortion at its finest.
As the show continued, the crowd’s frenzy grew. But there was a brief respite during love song “Orange Color Queen.” The track brings you into a colorful ’60s psychedelic pop state, with rich harmonies and terrific bass musicianship by the talented Mikal Cronin.
Three-minute garage rocker “Thank you Mr. K” brought the pace back up, giving drummer Charles Moothart (Fuzz, others) a chance to shine.
Ty Segall proved himself a very likable guy. Dressed in a red shirt with white fringe and bright red socks, he controlled the stage from the moment he stepped on. It was also nice to see a frontman set up his own gear and soundcheck before his set. Perhaps all artists should do that, as the sound and vocals were crystal clear and crisp.
Oakland’s Shannon and the Clams preceded Segall with an infectious blend of ’50s doo-wop and rockabilly. The band warmed up the crowd by playing mostly new jangly songs. They didn’t even announce any of their titles.
Singer-bassist Shannon Shaw recalled Patsy Cline and Janis Joplin. Shaw spoke about the Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire and Oakland’s still-amazing DIY scene, even after the tragedy. She could relate to that scene, as Shannon and the Clams began making music in basements. Many of their early fans were at this Fox show.
San Francisco’s White Fence, Tim Presley’s ’60s psych pop solo project, opened the show. He previously recorded with Segall, so I hoped for an on-stage collaboration. Alas, it was not meant to be.
White Fence began with a few extremely catchy ’60s jangly psychedelic pop tunes. The band then transitioned to garage rock
The set lasted only 15 minutes but the entire performance was memorable. It then turned into a garage rock set with heavier guitar riffs. The climax was a spacey 10-minute jam session. It was pure bliss.
Follow writer Rachel Goodman at Twitter.com/xneverwherex.