The Fresh & Onlys lead SF surf rock showcase at Brick & Mortar for Noise Pop Fest

The-Fresh-&-Onlys_postBy Katy Meacham //

The Fresh & Onlys with Cool Ghouls, Sandy’s, Luke Sweeney
Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco
February 26th, 2014

NoisePop Fest has begun. All over San Francisco, people scatter from venue to venue to hear sets from bands big and small. On Wednesday, February 26th, Brick and Mortar Music Hall hosted a nice array of authentically San Franciscan surf rock. With the four bands on the line up, Luke Sweeney, Sandy’s, Cool Ghouls and the headliners, The Fresh and the Onlys, the crowd stumbled in from the rain and warmed up to the retro feel of the evening.

Luke Sweeney started off the night with a nice mix of catchy pop-meets-70’s garage. With a full band and fun stage presence, they set the tone for a good time. Up next was the Sandy’s. Its hard not imagine yourself beachside watching the sun gleam off the ocean while listening to the Sandy’s. Alexi Glickman, of the Botticellis, allows his soft voice to hit with plenty of reverb over interesting melodies. The band has great stage presence and clearly enjoys playing together. They ended their set with some classic surf tunes, almost the sounds of Dick Dale, which was a perfect segue into Cool Ghouls’ set. Cool Ghouls continued the general theme of beach rock. They tend to be a more brash than that of Sandy’s. They’re deeply rooted in the sounds of the 70’s but have touches of 60’s Beatles-esque harmonies and guitar riffs. The three singers exchange duties seamlessly, adding a nice variance.

Last but not least were the Fresh and the Onlys. It was a later show, but the crowd did not seem to mind the wait. Lead singer, Tim Cohen, strangely reminiscent of Danny McBride in his humor, cracked jokes between songs. As expected the band gave a great set, playing popular singles like “Waterfall” early on and mixing in newer songs throughout. The locally beloved band declared, “We are San Francisco, or we were San Francisco, or San Francisco was us.” The crowd seemed to eat up the commentary on the general culture shift happening around them in the City. It was perfectly appropriate for this show, for a band imbedded in SF music and part of an independent-minded Bay Area music festival.



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