Ty Segall Band approached their late show at the Empty Bottle Saturday like a seasoned competitor would a race. Having already headlined an early set a few hours prior for a different crowd, Ty opened set two — start time: half past midnight — with his signature fist pump signaling all was well and good, his “are you all ready to hear some songs?” assurances brief but to the point, and then off he and Emily and Charles and Mikal went hard and fast into the night.
Not long after such charged prelude — four songs in, maybe five songs in, actually around the time Ty broke his focus to greet us a second time — Ty Segall Band seemed to ease up and conserve. They then rode on easy momentum through the end of the gig save for a stimulating encore of mostly covers (“American Woman,” “Feel Like Makin’ Love” among them.)
The pair of same-night Chicago shows were at the tush of a lanky tour beginning January 18 in San Francisco. Between then and Chicago, Ty played 16 of 23 nights (inclusive). Sunday they played Omaha (17 of 24), and things wrap up Tuesday in Denver (18 of 26).
The Empty Bottle seemed a proper venue for these guys even if they’ve sold out bigger spaces in the city. Last September he and Thee Oh Sees sold out a pair of shows at Logan Square Auditorium, a venue twice the size of the Empty Bottle. That Ty’s late show Saturday sold out by early to mid-November suggests his demand probably could have sold out a February show at LSA even without Thee Oh Sees. But LSA doesn’t have as good acoustics, nor does its character say “warm rock room” the way the Empty Bottle’s does, nor does it have the charms of the Bottle’s bartenders and Batwoman floor girl.
Ex-Cult (): I liked this Memphis-based fivesome way more than I expected to. My misgiving was solely based on their front man, who moseyed on up there without anything around his neck or in his hands. His sole instrument was a mic. A tough sell for a punk garage band. After a few numbers I stopped my judging and enjoyed them. They’ve accompanied Ty Segall Band on most of their tour.
Zath: Metal has never been my thing, so the opener by Zath, the lone local on the bill, was difficult to stand through. Wetting the palate with a little metal, however, helped me notice the genre’s influence on Ty Segall’s material. It’s plaited with metal. I hadn’t noticed it when I saw Ty last September at LSA. Thanks, Zath.
The story of the night, though, was in the types who apparently frequent Ty Segall shows. In lieu of hipster shag and scruff, there was an overwhelming population of clipped heads. Plenty of knit caps, too. Hair of any significant length (bed head or otherwise) was mainly on stage.
The San Francisco-based Ty Segall Band is Ty Segall, Emily Rose Epstein, Charles Moothart and Mikal Cronin. | Facebook
Their debut LP, Slaughterhouse, is available for $9.90 (mp3s), $12 (cd) or $17.50 (vinyl). | Midheaven
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