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Ty Segall shows us how to rock — and rock hard

Ty Segall & The MuggersBy Josh Herwitt //

Ty Segall & The Muggers //
Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles
January 15th, 2016 //

If there’s one thing Ty Segall knows how to do well, it’s work — even if making loud, guitar-driven rock music might not seem like work to some.

At the young age of 28, the California native has already played in a handful of bands — most of which are comically named — like The Traditional Fools, Epsilons, Party Fowl, Sic Alps and The Perverts, and nowadays you can find him moonlighting between Broken Bat, GØGGS and most notably Fuzz, which released their sophomore LP this past fall.

Yet, it’s Segall’s prolific solo career that has earned him the most attention from critics and fans alike, one that will see him drop his eighth studio album Emotional Mugger in as many years this week, almost a decade after befriending John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees and releasing his self-titled debut on Dwyer’s label Castle Face Records.

Ty Segall & The Muggers

But if there’s another thing Segall knows how to do well, it’s rock — and not just rock, but rock hard (and that might be an understatement).

Playing the first of two sold-out nights in his hometown of Los Angeles, Segall and his band, appropriately named “The Muggers” for this current tour, shredded their way through track after track on his forthcoming album. The riffs were heavy, the sound was crunchy and the atmosphere was pure, unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll.

It’s also fair to say that Segall knows his fans and the way they respond to his music pretty damn well, because in retrospect, he couldn’t have picked a better venue for the occasion than the standing-room-only Teragram Ballroom. When Segall and his bandmates took the stage just after 11 p.m. on Friday night and ripped into the opening track “Squealer” from Emotional Mugger, the crowd, a mix of mostly hipsters in their 20’s and the occasional dad fan, lost its collective mind.

Ty Segall & The Muggers

Segall, after all, has no problem with dads. In fact, he reminded us several times to go home after the show and make babies, either “with someone you love or with someone you don’t care about.” As strange and funny as that might sound, Segall’s absurd stage banter was all part of the show, particularly once you realize that he chose a creepy baby doll to grace the black-and-white cover of Emotional Mugger (to perpetuate the theme, Segall wore a baby-face mask at the beginning of the show). At one point in between songs, he even spat in his hand and walked off stage to give it to his girlfriend. How sweet of him, right?

But Segall is no doubt a showman himself, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who expends as much energy onstage as he does in merely 90 minutes. His passion simply rubs off on his fans, who wasted little time climbing onstage and taking the plunge into a sea of hands for a couple of minutes. Segall, of course, also got in on the action at one point, as his shows are often known to feature crowd surfing from both band and audience members, and he made sure to take the mic stand with him while he horizontally slithered across the room.

When it comes to Segall and his live show, there’s really no way to sugarcoat it — the guy is an animal, ready to rip, claw and bite (or just spit) his way through a performance. And in many ways, it’s refreshing to see a musician who has little to no filter when he takes the stage. Just like his music, which borders on garage rock and glam rock and intertwines psychedelic and punk elements into it, his shows are raw and full of emotion. So, if that was his plan, to mug us of our own emotions for at least a short while on this cold, winter night, well then mission accomplished, Ty.

Setlist:
Squealer
California Hills
Emotional Mugger/Leopard Priestess
Breakfast Eggs
Diversion
Baby Big Man (I Want a Mommy)
Mandy Cream
Candy Sam
Squealer Two
The Magazine
Thank God for Sinners
They Told Me Too
You’re the Doctor
The Crawler
Spiders
Manipulator
Feel

Encore:
Finger
The Feels
The Singer

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