Three Shows with Foxygen and Gary Wilson

Let me say this upfront: Foxygen is one of the best bands on the planet. Lest anyone think that is dramatic hyperbole, please let me assure you that is really how I feel.  Many of you know how much I'd been looking forward to playing on the same bill with this band, and it was every bit as inspiring and great as I could have hoped (well, let's be honest -- it was even better than that). It's truly  a great experience to open for a band that you are used to blasting in your living room at home!

We in Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates were totally bummed when proposed opening slots for Foxygen were cancelled last year because of ultra-dynamic frontman Sam France's on-stage injury. Fortunately, it wasn't long before France was literally back on his feet, and the band was back at it. Below, you can see video I got while thoroughly enjoying the band's amazing set at the Belly Up earlier this week:

As you can see, this group is jam-packed with talent, energy, and creativity, and though this lineup is a large one, I think I've got the personnel down at this point. Here goes: Keyboardist/songwriter extraordinaire Rado, Shaun Fleming holds it down big-time on the drums, Jared Walker and Kevin Basko provide any and all guitar awesomeness, Justin Nijssen brings serious feel and focus on the bass, and then a trio of singing and dancing phenoms consisting of Nina Joly, Emily Panic, and Jackie Cohen.  Ok, I'm gushing now, so let me wrap this up...

Backstage with Rado from Foxygen, before hitting the stage with Gary Wilson at the Fonda Theatre

Backstage with Rado from Foxygen, before hitting the stage with Gary Wilson at the Fonda Theatre

As always, playing with Gary was a true privilege and pleasure. You never do know what is going to happen on Blind Date shows, of course, but I always treasure each time we get onstage. All three nights were a blast, and though I'm sure a fair number of fans in the audience were slightly taken aback by the performance (as is usually the case), I must say that I felt a lot of love and positive energy. I even saw someone in the crowd last night ask for a piece of Joe Guevara's smashed-up keyboard!

Heated backstage debate at the Observatory between Foxygen's Shaun Fleming, and Blind Date Anders Larsson over which drum rudiment is the best (update: a concensus has been reached: "Lesson 25")

Heated backstage debate at the Observatory between Foxygen's Shaun Fleming, and Blind Date Anders Larsson over which drum rudiment is the best (update: a concensus has been reached: "Lesson 25")

And the love wasn't just from the crowd, but also from Foxygen themselves.  It was very cool to interact with the band, to say the least, and I can't wait to see more of them. They are all truly passionate about music, and we definitely felt we were in the company of kindred spirits this week. 

Gary Wilson and me backstage at the Belly Up

Gary Wilson and me backstage at the Belly Up

Blind Date Joe Guevara getting pretty, pre-keyboard-smashing extravaganza

Blind Date Joe Guevara getting pretty, pre-keyboard-smashing extravaganza

Gary knows how to relax before showtime, with or without Linda...

Gary knows how to relax before showtime, with or without Linda...

So thanks to everyone in Foxygen, the Foxygen team, the Belly Up, the Fonda Theatre, the Observatory, Goldenvoice, (anyone else I missed!), and all those who came out to support a little weirdness with a lot of love. Hope to see you all again very soon!

Gary saw Rado last night at the Observatory

Gary saw Rado last night at the Observatory

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