Cincinnati’s Foxy Shazam hit the Bay Area again, this time supporting Slash on his headlining jaunt. What’s that you say? Never heard of them? These guys defy classification but think 70’s inspired groove-rock inspired by Queen and Led Zeppelin infused with a healthy dose of soul and no shortage of kitsch. Regardless of where they may fit on the musical spectrum, it no doubt takes a confident (and brave) headliner to take Foxy Shazam on the road.
Kicking things off with Welcome to the House of Rock and Roll from their 2012 release of the same name, front man Eric Sean Nally careened and tumbled across the stage in signature fashion and without missing a note as he belted out the lyrics to the perfect opener. In between songs, Nally, who had swapped out his black died hair for blonde, eschewed Foxy wisdom … well at least it would be considered wisdom if any of it made sense … but nevertheless the audience hung on every word.
Cryptic musings aside, Nally at one point between songs hit up the audience for a cigarette. When a pack landed on stage, he yanked out a handful and then demanded a lighter, his hand outstretched as if waiting for someone to hand him one. When said lighter finally arrived, the entire fist-full of cigarettes went into his mouth and were lit all at once. In previous shows Nally has proceeded to chew up the lot … while lit, mind you. But, not so this time. A little tease and then the cigs were stomped out on the stage for good. Apparently Nally has stuck by his promise to quit smoking (“it’s bad for you”) that he voiced the last time he passed through town.
Not to be outdone by their frontman, the rest of the band didn’t hold back. Schuyler Vaughn White stood on his keyboard and generally moved around more than any other keyboardist could/should, Alex Nauth gyrated as he blew his horn and Daisy Caplan (bass) performed feats of balance. A bit of a three-ring circus where so much going on that it was impossible to know where to look.
And while the uninitiated may have raised an eyebrow or three at Foxy Shazam’s antics, there was clearly a contingent of die-hards in the room that threw their support but may have left with a twinge of disappointment at the meager 35 minute set. In any case, they most definitely walked off stage with some new fans and more than a few lasting impressions.
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