“Tonight a child is born! Prepare to have your minds shifted, and prepare to have your wallets lifted. Ladies and gentleman, the Muggers!”
When Ty Segall and his new band the Muggers took to the stage last Friday night at Teragram Ballroom, I was unsure of how the show would unfold. Would they sound like classic Ty? Fuzz? Wand? King Tuff? With so many different, powerful influences merged into one like a great – yes I’m gong to say it again – supergroup of talent, I could hear the synergy clearly on the recorded tracks, but would it translate live?
Yes. The supergroup translates. It works. Across all levels, and Friday night was their fourth live show ever. On stage were Ty Segall, front and center wearing a Leatherface looking baby mask, Kyle Thomas, Mikal Cronin, Evan Burrows, Emmett Kelly and Cory Hanson. The sheer force of these musicians combined with Segall’s innate ability to put on a show is staggering. Not to mention everyone looked fly, which always helps.
The Muggers crashed into their set with the opener off Emotional Mugger, “Squealer,” and from there played every track from the album in order, almost like a listening party. They then transitioned into older Segall tracks like “Thank God For the Sinners” and “You’re the Doctor” off Twins, and a few hitters from the 2014 album Manipulator, including the title track. The band made those older gems sound fresh, heightened and chaotic, in part due to Hanson’s steady keys/guitar skills and Thomas’ incredible axe shredding. The crowd was unrelenting. After an hour of straight rock, the Muggers returned for their encore with the haunting melter “Finger”, and closed the night with a sludgy, snarling rendition of “The Singer.”
“The next song is about my newborn baby. He went to jail. I’m waiting for him to get out. Let’s hear it for my newborn baby. I hope he can get out of jail soon. I miss you.”
Watch video from Saturday night’s show:
Segall has a bit of Bowie in him, the way he can fully adopt a persona and transfix an audience.
When he wasn’t stage diving or writhing around in his creepy, baby mask disguise, he relished in the opportunity to spit on the sweaty crowd.
For real, I’ve never seen someone spit on an audience more in my life. Nobody seemed to mind; everyone was feeling it. Girls perched on boys’ shoulders. One even attempted to hug Segall when he caught a wave. But performance aside, the real mind blower that night was the music, the raw wall of sound the Muggers’ dropped on Teragram like a bomb.
The Muggers also played Saturday night, a back-to-back extravaganza that sold out weeks ago, with Vials and CFM, the new creation of Fuzz member Charlie Moothart, opening respectively. I’ve seen my fair share of live shows, and the Muggers are doing something. To borrow a line from the Beach Boys, I don’t know where but they send me there. –Maya Eslami
Full Set List:
Emotional Mugger / Leopard Priestess
Baby Big Man
Thank God For the Sinners
They Told Me Too
You’re the Doctor