Ty Segall brought his Freedom Band to Portland’s Crystal Ballroom on February 4th, only a few shows into a lengthy nationwide tour supporting his current release, Harmonizer. With many other shows happening in the city on the same evening, the venue was nonetheless at near capacity, with all attendees complying with mandated COVID protocols. Per artist request, the event required proof of vaccination for entry, not permitting on-site, rapid testing. This immediately created a safe and relaxed environment, as was evident by the remarkably tame Friday night crowd.
Oog Bogo kicked off the evening at 9:00 pm, assaulting the unprepared ears of the attendees pressed close to the rail. Drag City label mates, as well as fellow LA residents, Oog Bogo came hard out of the gate, forcing many people in the ballroom to frantically grab their earplugs. The four-piece band was exceedingly loud, with their multiple vintage amplifiers screaming and pushing the decibel levels into the stratosphere. Fronted by Meatbodies bassist Kevin Boog, and filled out by guitarist Shelby Jacobson, drummer Mike Kriebel, and guitarist Thomas Alvarez, Oog Bogo played a tight 35 minute set of predominantly power chord crunch. Without question, the room tone was annihilated by the conclusion of their set, with more than a few new fans giving the band deserved applause as they broke down their gear.
Without too much delay, the stage was set for the Freedom Band, as Ty himself came onstage to test his guitar and gear. Exiting momentarily, he returned at 10:15 pm and Ty Segall & The Freedom Band began the evening in the usual fashion, establishing their signature fuzz tone in alliance with the drone established by Rhodes and clavinet maestro, Ben Boye. The band achieved liftoff and opened their set with the song “Whisper,” from Ty’s most recent release, Harmonizer. Continuing with the album’s sequence, “Erased” appeared next, the song among half of those on the setlist that were represented from the new album.
Of the new material played, “Feel Good” was perhaps the highlight of the evening. Featuring Denée Segall on lead vocals, the catchy dance number had the wooden floors of the Crystal Ballroom shaking. Spending the majority of her time at the merch table, Ty Segall’s incredibly talented wife treated the crowd to a rousing performance, taking a break from her duties of selling the band’s merchandise. The rest of the band’s set was equally compelling and diverse, with Ty Segall & The Freedom Band having such a deep catalog of material from which to choose. There were many crowd favorites, including “Manipulator” and a fiery rendition of the beautifully haunting track, “Finger.”
Clocking in at an hour and a half, the band’s set concluded with two encores capping off the spectacular show. Professionalism at its finest, Ty thanked the grateful Portland crowd and left the stage just before midnight. No frills and no fanfare, Ty Segall & The Freedom Band showed no signs of rust as they delivered a powerhouse set once again. No doubt they will continue to set the standard in each city as the tour rolls on.
TY SEGALL & THE FREEDOM BAND SETLIST
Feel Good ( with Denée Segall)
They Told Me To
E: Candy Sam