Ty Segall is the type of person you knew in high school who smoked weed in the bathroom before class and who you shunned yet admired from a safe distance. He is so fucking cool. He is too cool to have a Twitter presence. He is too cool to have a Facebook presence. He is too cool to have an Instagram presence. He is certainly too cool to be interviewed by me and my lack of coolness. After all, Ty Segall doesn’t need the media; the media needs him. I totally respect that, so I went to his show anyway at the Georgia Theater in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Sept. 13. It was exactly what I mentioned above — cool!
For $17, I went to a four hour show that included two opening bands, Wand and Shade. In the middle of Shade’s set, I turned around and noticed Segall and his band weren’t afraid to stand in the crowd to watch the entire duration of Shade’s performance. He and his band are too cool for the crowd and too cool to get attacked by super fans because none of them did.
Once Segall hit the stage closer to midnight, my mind was already blown by Wand (who I will include in a separate review) and I didn’t know what to expect.
Where do I begin? Segall came out in his signature look, which included make-up straight from the 90s: silver lipstick, white jeans with galaxy designs all over them and a white long sleeve shirt with some sort of what I’m guessing an Illuminati symbol poking fun at the Illuminati because he’s too cool to be in some stupid conspiracy group unless he creates it. He got the stage ready with his band, which included long-time collaborator best friend, Mikal Cronin. Once the band was finished setting up, they went backstage and had their manager donned in a cowboy hat, bandana and cape introduce the band.
Segall and company ran out and played an hour-and-a-half set, which was surprisingly one of the better concerts I’ve seen in a long time. The band is extremely talented with a unique and addicting sound reminiscent of classic bands like The Beach Boys with punk infused. The show predominantly consisted of songs off Segall’s new album “Manipulator” with older, popular tunes thrown in the mix.
Normally, I don’t enjoy concerts where the talent plays little from their most well known works, but with Segall, I didn’t mind. He and his band put on a hell of a show live with the fuzzy guitar riffs and heavy drumming they’re known for. As someone who has been a fan of Segall’s work for a few years now, I couldn’t help but notice that his sound has matured a lot since starting out at 18 and 19. He is now on a Jimi Hendrix level of guitar playing at 27, but he’ll live longer than Jimi Hendrix because he’s cooler than Jimi Hendrix obviously. It isn’t cool to die at 27.
Highlights include live renditions of “The Connection Man,” “Feel,” “The Singer” and of course “Manipulator,” which the band opened the show with. The band got the crowd moving to a mosh pit which probably hasn’t happened at the Georgia Theater since probably ever.
I would suggest you buy the album, but I also suggest you buy a ticket to see them live immediately before you have to sell your soul to Ty Segall (because he is cooler than Satan) to afford to see him sold-out arenas. People are going to catch on.
After the show, I decided to ask Ty Segall myself why he and the rest of the band decide to wear make-up as he stood next to the merch table, sipping on a drink like Arthur Fonzarelli but cooler. He told me because they are “not of this world” which totally made sense, because that was confirmation that they are too cool for it.
As for me, I’ve been playing “Manipulator” for a few straight days because I miss my time with Ty Segall. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it.