Foxy Shazam
Show: Foxy Shazam
Date: July 31, 2014
Venue: El Rey
City: Los Angeles, CA

Foxy Shazam
Photos by Nicolas Bates
Written by Dan Sinclair

July almost came and went without a RUKUS show to cover, when lo and behold, something quite Foxy came ‘round El Rey. Yes, the fabulous Foxy Shazam came shim-shimmying up the Miracle Mile in support of their self-released album Gonzo, and gave a performance that would’ve made both the Muppet and Hunter S. Thompson proud.

Want to get to know the boys from Cincinnati? They are namely Loren Daniel Turner on guitar, Daisy Caplan strumming bass, Schuyler Vaughn White on keyboard, Aaron McVeigh banging drums, Alex Nauth blowing horns and, of course, Eric Sean Nally playing the human vocal chords. And straight from the first song “Gonzo,” each and every one of them gives their all, both displaying their mastery on their respective instruments and physically performing a show for the audience.

During “Poem Pathetic” and “Brutal Truth,” White splits time between playing behind the keyboards and playing on top of them. Nally kicks his microphone around, never letting it once fall all the way to the floor. Nauth sings the backup, then either plays his horn or tosses it high in the air.

And even though it’s his booming, soulful singing voice that’s made him famous, Eric tells the crowd to hold on: “I’m gonna talk in my real voice.” And guess what? His real voice is quite high. He actually sounds like a teenager kid who hasn’t quite hit puberty yet—it’s quite shocking actually. He then twirls the microphone around like it’s a lasso during “Have the Fun” and even does a headstand for “Shoe Box.”

Before “Don’t Give In,” Nally tells us that it’s “…a song about time travel. We wrote it next week.” During “In This Life” he tells Nauth to “Suck it in and blow it out, baby,” referring to Alex’s trumpet, of course. Then after “Story Told,” Foxy Shazam leaves the stage to change clothes.

When they return, White, Nauth and McVeigh do so topless while Nally dons a vertically striped shirt with horizontally striped pants. Caplan and Turner pretty much look the same. The crowd goes nuts when Nally says, “There sure are a lot of dogs out this evening,” because they know that signals that “Bombs Away” is coming up next. They help Foxy out with a few barks of their own.

The writer’s favorite “Oh, Lord” is next, followed by “Holy Touch,” where the band finishes big… over and over. They freeze, then Nally shouts, “1, 2, 3, 4,” and boom, everyone plays the shit out of their instruments, then freeze again. Then it’s “5, 6, 7, 8,” then “9, 10, 11, 12,” then “13, 14, 15, 16.” Fans laugh and cheer while Foxy runs the joke as far into the ground as possible.

After “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Nally says, “If it were legal to shoot people, I’d be dead,” to kick-start fan-favorite “Killin’ It.” Then it’s “The Temple” and “The Only Way to My Heart” before Foxy sang about big asses in “I Like It.” Nally placed his head under a cymbal, becoming part of the drum set as McVeigh continued to pound away.

The performance was so much, Nally asked the crowd for a cigarette. Someone tosses a whole pack up. After his nicotine fix, the Foxy frontman sings a cover of Green Day’s “Longview.” Then they end the show with “Unstoppable,” because they are. They cannot be defeated.

There’s very few live acts that come to mind that can top the energy and pure showmanship that comes with a Foxy Shazam concert—it’s just nonstop fun, pure and simple. If you hate fun, you should avoid them at all costs, but if you happen to be one of those rare human beings that likes to enjoy life and have a good time, go buy some Foxy tickets right now.

Oh, and as Nally always says, “Roses are red. Violets are blue. Foxy Shazam. Fuck you.”

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