Show Review: Free Energy with Foxy Shazam and Hollerado at Slim’s, 10/29/10

by Marie Carney on October 30, 2010

Foxy Shazam shows everyone how it's done

Spinning Platters has seen all of these bands before, more than once in fact, yet about half of the staff was at this show.  Why?  It is impossible to resist the chance to see three such high energy fun acts all in one night, and it was Managing Editor Dakin Hardwick’s birthday party!  For both these reasons it was a very fun night full of joy and dancing. 

Hollerado took the stage first and were the perfect warm up with their brand of jamm-y yet catchy rock songs.  They were fun to watch jumping around and giving a lot of energy.  The crowd was up for it and about three songs into the set most of the people were jumping around and dancing.  Of course it’s hard not to give back to Hollerado, they are just a great band.  It’s a simple formula maybe, four members, guitars, drums and bass, but when it’s done well it really works, and Hollerado may be one of the best.

Though the best of the evening was to come next, in the form of the great Foxy Shazam.  They, again, are a straight up rock band, but with trumpet, keyboards and a crazy story telling, cigarette eating frontman added to the mix.  When described, Foxy Shazam might sound gimmicky, but I can tell you after seeing them for the third time that it is no gimmick.  Sure, they’re crazy with the singer who tells stories about having just gotten out of jail and a keyboardist who sometimes plays upside down and all the members constantly jumping around asking for, and deserving, your attention, but what you really leave the show with is the sense of the band members’ amazing talent.  Every time I’ve seen them the music has been just as good and the spectacle just as entertaining.  If they played here again tonight I would go again, and again, and again.

It helped that this was an audience who was here to see Foxy Shazam bring it.  Many attempts at crowd surfing were brought to an abrupt halt by security.  There was constant pogo-ing and dancing, along with fist pumping, clapping and singing along.  It was the kind of show that lingers in the memory.  The kind of show that at the right moment and the right age can change your life.  In a nutshell, it was spectacular.

Then Free Energy had to come on stage.  Even though they were the headliners, the space in front of the stage cleared and the room seemed to empty.  It is really too bad because Free Energy is a good band.  They do their fair share of running about the stage and jumping around to their 70’s style rock sound.  But they are not the spectacle that Foxy Shazam is, not that any other band could be, and not even frontman Paul Spranger’s overly revealing unitard was exciting enough to engage the crowd.

Not to say no one was there to see Free Energy.  They did have a small group of superfans dancing in front of the stage.  And to their credit the band pulled off the show like they were the headliners, just rocking out and having the members of Hollerado join them onstage at the end for a last song jam.  It was weird that they didn’t play an encore, but with the circumstances it made sense.

It isn’t fair for any act to have to follow Foxy Shazam, and Free Energy’s set was proof of that, but I was impressed with their heart and ability to ignore the fact that a third of the people there were in the back talking to members of Foxy Shazam.  I wish more thought had gone into planning the order, or maybe egos were checked so that the lineup went Hollerado – Free Energy – Foxy Shazam because then it could have been an awesome build up of rock.  But instead it felt like:  build – YES! – wah-wah.  With three bands this strong you should never leave the show feeling let down.

Please enjoy the fabulous photos by Mr. David Price.  They pretty much say it all.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joel November 1, 2010 at 12:57 am

Wow, I feel as if I were actually there!

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