Our 10 favorite shows from the first half of 2016

Best live shows of 2016

2016 has been a rough year so far for music fans. We’ve watched legends like Prince, David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg, Ralph Stanley and most recently Bernie Worrell all pass on, leaving us stunned and saddened to see them go.

But this year has also provided those of us living in the great state of California with plenty of memorable moments in live music, from Noise Pop to Coachella and beyond. And with half of 2016 already in the rearview mirror (can you believe it?!?!), we thought now would be as good of a time as any to revisit the best performances we’ve witnessed over the past six months.

So, after careful consideration, we present our 10 favorite shows from the first half of 2016.


Top 10 shows of 2016 - Ty Segall

10. Ty Segall

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. -Josh Herwitt, photo by Josh Herwitt


Top 10 shows of 2016 - The Last Shadow Puppets

9. The Last Shadow Puppets

I don’t think I had been to a show in a long time in which the girls were screaming like they were watching The Beatles. The girls were going crazy for Turner, including throwing things on the stage (unfortunately we can’t say for sure if there were any bras or panties that flew through the air). -Rachel Goodman, photo by Diana Cordero


Top 10 shows of 2016 - The Kills

8. The Kills

As with any Kills show, the band was raw, untamed and ready to sonically destroy everything in their path. This was achieved by Hince’s voracious guitar playing, which saw him coxing a plethora of harmonically distorted riffs, with Mosshart taking duties on rhythm guitar when needed. -James Pawlish, photo by James Pawlish


Top 10 shows of 2016 - Bob Moses

7. Bob Moses

At Mezzanine, both Howie and Vallance proved their prowess as EDM innovators, bringing more to the stage than a couple of laptops and a pretty light show. Surprising those unfamiliar with their work or expecting to be underwhelmed, Bob Moses have elevated the live electronic game for their respective contemporaries and succeeded in defining a new chapter for the genre — an innovative sound standard that’s all their own. -Molly Kish, photo by Lisette Worster


Top 10 shows of 2016 - Mac DeMarco

6. Mac DeMarco

The 26-year-old king of slacker rock, who over the past few years has become a fan favorite of many Bay Area audiophiles, never seems to hold back when he comes to town. His first night in SF last week saw him jump from The Indy’s balcony into an awaiting crowd (a feat that was later imitated by a female audience member at The Warfield the next night), run around half naked while playing new songs and perform a 25-minute cover of Eric Clapton’s 1971 hit single “Layla” with fart solos sprinkled throughout. -James Pawlish, photo by James Pawlish


Coachella 2016 - Guns 'N Roses

5. Guns N’ Roses

When it came time to deliver, the original trio of Axl, Slash and bassist Duff McKagan most certainly did, while rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus and drummer Frank Ferrer proved to be more than suitable fill-ins for Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler/Matt Sorum. Meanwhile, the surprise appearance by Angus Young couldn’t have come at a much better time after the announcement was made minutes before GNR’s set that Rose will be filling in for Brian Johnson on AC/DC’s remaining tour dates this year. -Josh Herwitt, photo courtesy of Coachella


Top 10 shows of 2016 - Young Thug

4. Young Thug

With his back momentarily turned to the camera-phone flash before the lighting guys again joined the party, Atlanta’s favorite outlander appeared to just take a moment. The point in time could have been one of appreciation or something else on a completely different side of the pendulum. That ambiguity is what seems to keep Young Thug and his pundits going. -Joseph Gray, photo by Joseph Gray


Coachella 2016 - Sia

3. Sia

With the Australian artist standing in the back of the stage, her set was more performance art than it was pop music. While her face was hidden thanks to her trademark wig, Sia’s voice stood front and center as she belted out every note to hits like “Diamonds”, “Bird Set Free” and “Titanium”. -Brett Ruffenach, photo courtesy of Coachella


Top 10 shows of 2016 - Moderat

2. Moderat

It’s no surprise that Moderat have made waves in the genre given their well-established roots in Modeselektor (Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary) and Apparat (Sascha Ring). What has been surprising, however, is their ability to step outside the conventions of both parent acts and craft something truly their own. -Zach Bourque, photo by Josh Herwitt


Coachella 2016 - LCD Soundsystem

1. LCD Soundsystem

I have seen many concerts as well as attended many festivals in my life, but this was truly among the most beautiful moments in live music I have ever experienced. Wrapping up their headlining performance with “All My Friends”, LCD Soundsystem proved to be among the top artists to ever grace the festival’s main stage. -Brett Ruffenach, photo courtesy of Coachella


What has been your favorite show of 2016 so far? Let us know in the comments section below!

FYF Fest drops 2016 lineup, led by Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala & Grace Jones

FYF Fest 2016

FYF Fest //
Exposition Park – Los Angeles
August 27th-28th, 2016 //

If you thought Kanye West and Morrissey were big gets for FYF last year, the two-day music festival is going even bigger in 2016.

Led by headliners Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala and Grace Jones, the lineup for the 13th annual FYF Fest is jam-packed from top to bottom.

The rest of the bill includes performances from Air, Beach House, Anohni, Grimes, Hot Chip, Father John Misty, Explosions in the Sky, Rae Sremmurd, Blood Orange, Young Thug, Moby (DJ set), Saves the Day, Vince Staples, Wolf Parade, Shellac, Todd Terje & the Olsens, Charles Bradley, Ty Segall & the Muggers, Junior Boys, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Jagwar Ma, The Black Lips, Peter Bjorn and John, DIIV, Chelsea Wolfe, Kelela, Bicep, Wild Nothing, Floating Points, Gold Panda, Corbin, Hop Along, Viet Cong, Oneohtrix Point Never, Julia Holter and more at Exposition Park near downtown LA.

UPDATE: FYF has added slacker-rock king Mac DeMarco, LA electronic duo CLASSIXX and Banks & Steelz, a new collaboration featuring Interpol frontman Paul Banks and Wu Tang original member RZA, to its already stacked 2016 lineup more than two and a half months after dropping the festival’s initial bill.

Founded by Sean Carlson back in 2004 and produced in association with LA concert promoter Goldenvoice, FYF will sell weekend passes for $199, with single-day passes also available for $125 and weekend VIP passes available for $339. Tickets can be purchased starting this Friday, April 1st at 12 p.m. here.

Excited for FYF now? Make sure to check out our coverage from 2015 here.

FYF Fest 2016 lineup

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