Standing in line alone, listening to the cold wind whisper isn’t as lonely as one might think. I had been debating greatly on whether or not I was gonna come to the show tonight ; the main thing holding me back was the sketchy area that the venue was located in. Did I really wanna go home at 11:00pm and risk running into some crazy homeless guy? “Ah fuck it”, I thought to myself.
The Rickshaw Stop sat right in the middle of Fell St, its walls invaded with purple tentacles and flying eyeballs made it hard to miss if you were looking for it. Most venues would seem to accumulate a line about an hour or half an hour before the show but not the Rickshaw Stop. As a matter of fact, I was first in line which rarely happens for me. This was my first show I had been to since moving to San Francisco, I was excited to say the least. I had been listening to GØGGS for the past couple of days to familiarize myself with their debut album. I had seen Ty Segall play twice before this : once at The Echo in 2014 and another time at Teragram Ballroom at the beginning of this year. Both times he did not disappoint so I entered into the Rickshaw Stop with high expectations. I sat there patiently scanning the room until the show started. Examining the crowd has got to be one of the most interesting parts of attending concerts. The diversity among people is sometimes very prevalent or in this case not so prevalent. White punk rock kids mostly controlled the floor of the concert. There were three bands that were going to be filling the air with music that night : Scraper , The Double, and last but not least GØGGS.
Scraper was the first band to give us a taste of the punk rock show we were in for that night. Saying nothing they immediately jump right into their first song. The setlist of all the bands for that night has currently escaped my mind. Scraper sets the stage, though with some hard songs. The song that stood out in their set was a new song titled Misery. The crowd seemed to be pretty enthused about the band, but you could tell that they were conserving their energy for something spectacular. A serious tone definitely laid awake within their lyrics. Sitting there observing you could tell each song told a small story of their lives ; an honesty in their lyrics. Scraper left the stage leaving me fulfilled until GØGGS would take the stage.
Watching the The Double set up the stage excited me. The drummer was setting up multiple pieces so I assumed this would give them a unique and exciting sound. The drummer was a bit older than the frontman/ guitarist. The guitarist was in his late forties while the drummer looked to be in his late fifties. The crowd was growing a bit antsy. Sensing this the Double quickly took the stage and started their set. Immediately they jumped into their 3o minute set with a nice bongo like drumming intro accompanied with some mildly rough guitar strumming. It was this exact same sound that controlled the venue airspace for their entire set. This caused my mind to wander and eventually I just began to continually scan the audience multiple times, often seeing members of both GØGGS and Scraper mixed within the audience. The Double had left the stage after holding the same sound for nearly 30 minutes only adding very slight and very subtle changes every once in a blue moon. Bewilderment and lethargy overcame half of the audience members while the excitement and confusion overcame the other. When the Double walked off stage I quickly became grouped into the first group of people.
Both Ty Segall and Chris Moothart took the stage before Ex-Cult band member Chris Shaw joined them. GØGGS set the crowd ablaze by breaking right into their set with the opening track “Falling In”. Soon enough the entire crowd was a taken over in a swirl of madness and even though Shaw’s mic was turned off for the first song no one seemed to care. Shaw possessed the energy and attitude of a punk frontman while Ty manically shredded the guitar as if he was in a heavy metal band ; Moothart brought a unison of both members as he intensely drummed without missing a single beat. Between the moshing and head banging it was hard to grasp the fact that the show ended in the blink of an eye. “Smoke the Wurm” was as fast and hard-hitting as “She Got Harder”. Segall and Moothart switching places added, some spice to the performance while an unknown bassist played in unison with all the members. Although I have seen Ty play multiple times , it was interesting to seem him as simply the guitarist and not the frontman. The band obliterated only half of their self titled debut album before they left the stage. Sitting here listening to their album is leaving me with only one thought : “Damn I wish they would’ve played more.”