Thursdays are usually the night for shows at the former Eagle Tavern, now Eagle SF, but last night was a special Tuesday. It was the release date of the new Sonny & the Sunsets LP Antenna to the Afterworld on Polyvinyl and a ton of people came out to celebrate.
First up was Cool Ghouls who also opened for Sonny last March at Noise Pop. Their sets tend to start out as tuneful pop in a southern rock revivalist sort of way and then edge deeper into dark and psyched out waters. And it wouldn’t be a Cool Ghouls show if their impassioned friends and fans weren’t dancing and singing along in the crowd.
Burnt Ones came on next and filled air and ears with swirling, screeching feedback and fuzz before taking off on a summer tour. They won’t be back until August and then, according to their Facebook page, won’t play again for a while.
Sonny & the Sunsets then played a long set (hour? hour plus?) of mostly new songs and much older material that made asses shake. Wearing an eyepatch that he couldn’t quite explain (besides saying “it looks like Vietnam under there”) and pink bakelite cufflinks, Sonny performed in his typical charming way to a packed house. After grabbing a beer from the bar and waiting in the bathroom line for the majority of the set (bring back the port-o-potties, Eagle!!!) I had lost my spot, therefore this review includes zero Sonny photos so you are going to have to take my word for it. Sure, I could have snapped a picture of the stage and the backs of people’s heads, but I didn’t want to be that person. Because here’s the thing — no one was that person last night. The full crowd watched and enjoyed the set without the all-too-common sea of glowing screens and constant flashing near the stage. And it was really nice.
So, with that, you can check out the video for “Palmreader” off Antenna to the Afterworld below. Sonny and friends have west coast dates booked between now and September to support their new record but will be back in July to play Great American Music Hall with Calvin Johnson, the Sandwitches, and Wounded Lion, so keep an eye out for that if you are so inclined.