Total Control

After nearly two years of radio silence, the SF Eagle (formerly known as the Eagle Tavern) is now back up and running in all of its dive-y, leather and denim clad, LGBT glory. Like before, the SF Eagle is playing host to some really cool local and visiting rock bands, like Friday night’s show featuring Fuzz, Total Control, and Thee Oh Sees.

I arrived at the venue to find a long line wrapped around the building – 9pm and the show was already over capacity. Not sure whether this was a good sign or not, I headed in only to realize that I could only make it about ten feet past the doorway. Meanwhile Fuzz played at the far end of the hallway, between us a wall of what felt like about 500 humans, though it was probably less. I sit with the conviction that it’s never a bad look to open a show with the heaviest band of the night, and Fuzz’s Sabbath-esque, stringy haired, garage rock certainly fit the bill. The first surprise of the night came right before the last song in Fuzz’s set: a birthday serenade to Ty Segall followed by some birthday cake for the band and everyone lucky and ruthless enough to be standing at the front of the stage. As a huge Ty Segall freak, this was a heart-melting thrill for me.

As I made my way to the front of the stage for Total Control, the heat in the room became apparent. By the time the Australian post-punk band had reached their second song, I could feel beads of sweat settling on my eyebrows and gluing my bangs to my face. Total Control’s recordings feature a roughly married triad of blown-out punk rock, krautrock-like post punk, and eerie, synth-laden electronica. For this show, Total Control stuck to their roots, playing garagey distorted guitars with a heavy post-punk vibe, and they completely blew the crowd away. So much that in between the crowd surfing, sweating, and some light moshing in the front, a man in a red full-body costume (perhaps the evil twin of the “green man”) jumped on stage and paced around the band, then danced on the corner of the stage before flinging himself into the crowd. Did anyone know that dude?

Thee Oh Sees took the stage last to finish up the show, playing a mix of old songs and new ones off their absolutely stellar recent album Floating Coffin. You really have to have experienced a show with Thee Oh Sees to fully understand the vibrant energy and tightly knit nature of their sets – but then again, haven’t we already seen them live like five times at least? I’ll spare you.

Needless to say, it appears that the SF Eagle is back in action and bursting with just the type of rock ‘n’ roll blood we’ve been thirsty for.

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