First Fridays at the Natural History Museum in Downtown LA have been happening for a while now, and garner that happy mix of attention from white KCRW listeners to geeked out hipsters who’d dish out 20 bucks to stand around taxidermy and watch their favorite bands play. But let’s be real, with White Fence on the bill, who wouldn’t want to see Tim Presley wiggle around next to a hundred-year-old tank-sized walrus?
Cherry Glazerr started off the night while I was in line for beer in the main hall, where a blue and purple projection of the band was cast on a wall for all to see like a hologram. By the time I got in the concert hall – where bands play on a makeshift stage in front of the huge Plains Bison diorama – they were knee deep in the breakdown for “White’s Not My Color This Evening.”
The three of them — Clem Creevy, Hannah Uribe, and Sean Redman — were more badass than I expected, especially Clem. She announced “Grilled Cheese” by telling the crowd, “This song’s about a sandwich” with deadpan delivery, because guess what, it is. Before playing their last song, Clem told the crowd, “I want you guys to get crazy now,” and boy did they listen.
White Fence performed like a well-oiled rollercoaster with loops and drops and spins that never gets old. The synchronicity of Presley, Josh Puklavetz, Nick Murray, and new Fence member for the night Sean Presley was palpable from the start. Sean, Tim’s brother, is the man responsible for urging Tim to record White Fence when White Fence was contained within a San Francisco bedroom.
For a while, there was a divide between their live shows and their records. Not anymore. Songs like “Body Cold” and “And by Always” off 2011’s Is Growing Faith transformed into psychedelic ballads. Yes I said psychedelic. Even gems like “Wolf Gets a Red Face,” off last year’s For the Recently Found Innocent, took on new force live. I’ve seen White Fence play more times than I can count, and they just get better every time.
Presley, really feeling the museum’s vibe, played the famous five-note theme to Jurassic Park on his guitar throughout the set, like a shout out to the dinosaur bones two rooms over. Despite the nearly hour long set, White Fence never let up, playing hard, everyone sweaty and unrelenting, even on those long jam tracks, for the over-capacity filled room. And even though my mom told me not to say fuck in this piece, they really fucking ruled. Sorry Mom.—Maya Eslami