The well matched line up at The Independent on Thursday night was a reinvestment in soulful swagger of rock n’ roll. Even from the street, I could hear the wailing from the stage. As I stood impatiently in the rain, chomping at the bit to get inside, I realized that I was not the only one. My lovely neighbor in queue Erica, with her beautiful rainproof parasol, had just walked 13 blocks after looking for parking for an hour to see them. The Soft White Sixties was the source of this raw and soulful R&B, a local band that has recently sold out The Great American Music Hall. The music held tight, allowing the rest of your body to cut loose and let the fringe on your own head fly. The Soft White Sixties are of the same ilk as the UK in the 1960’s, but from a fresh, original and current perspective. There is something intrinsic about that era of rock, making the listeners feel a little bit cooler, a bit more comfortable in their own skin. I hope their new EP will deliver the same loose nature that got this crowd moving from the streets to the stage.
What gives The Ferocious Few the right to bear that title? This two-man band is hard hitting. They made me want to drink their cabin punch and smoke their rag weed. The twang out of the right side of their front man’s mouth had enough Delta roots to make my blood run red. With long sliding strokes up and down the neck of his surf-punk guitar, and Luigi style/Freddy Mercury moustaches, they filled the stage with a furrowed intensity and a unique sound. And just like that, they switched it up. Francisco switched from vocals and guitar to vocal, guitar and drums (simultaneously) and Daniel jumped up to play the standing drums with a tambourine. I couldn’t quite pin these boys down. Their fiercely emotional vocals were echoed from their songs to their constant dedications to their fans, friends with cancer, and KUSF. Hey, Quentin Tarantino! These guys might be your next soundtrack.
Voxhaul Broadcast is big, big, big. The energy of the band burst the room wide open. They have a dreamy sound with crashing cymbals and Jim Morrison vocals. With hints of computers, pushing them a bit towards U2, they always manage to bring it back to a taste of the Beatles and Hendrix. Harnessing all forms of psychedelic rock, they remain to be influenced and yet independent, these boys put on a great show.
Headlining the show were The Stone Foxes, a well-known, well supported Bay Area band. Visually, I love the set up; one linear presentation like- a band of brothers is you will- where are instruments are created equal. If you don’t know who The Stone Foxes are, get with it. And to answer the question in some of their lyrics “Hey is that your vagina?” Well boys, I’m concerned about your understanding of anatomy ‘cause: Hey- are you wearing a nipple ring on the outside of your vest?