Foxygen concert finds mismatch in band, audience energy


Photo by Cara Robbins | Courtesy of High Road Touring

Bathed in red light and framed by velvet floor-to-ceiling curtains, Foxygen’s theatrical performance on Monday at One Eyed Jacks was fitting for the debut of its latest album, “Hang.” Refined yet wild expression, multiple costume changes from basic t-shirts to a tied-up button down shirt and an unsuspecting crowd characterized the night.

Foxygen was preceded by the Australian singer-songwriter Gabriella Cohen and her band. Cohen’s voice was drawling and rich as the crowd swayed to her performance, an inviting contrast to open the show.

After Cohen’s set, fans drew in close to the stage in anticipation of Foxygen’s entrance. A couple minutes of built-up instrumentals led into the opening number and title track, “We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic,” followed by two more hit songs from the band’s second album.

Duo Sam France and Jonathan Rado, who alternated between the keys and guitar, were accompanied onstage by three horn players, a female vocalist and a drummer to complete the band’s experimental sound. France’s vocals along with salutes, raised fists and other onstage antics enlivened the crowd.

At the fourth song, Foxygen began with “Follow the Leader” proceeding to perform the entirety of “Hang.” Songs from the new album showcased France’s diverse vocal register. As the set progressed reactions were mixed as some crowd members became less engaged while those closest to the stage remained lively.

Though “Hang” has a complexity of sound that Foxygen’s previous albums lacked, each song blended together in an instrumental flurry complimented by France’s stage presence. The atmosphere in the venue was tame compared to the evident showmanship and talent of the band members.

The set ended with a reinvigorated crowd and encore of older songs including “No Destruction” and “How Can You Really,” with France performing a trumpet solo on his knees to close the show. While it was an entertaining and a fruitful expression of its latest sound, Foxygen’s performance left the audience unmatched in spirits to those of the band.

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