Ty Segall and the Freedom Band: October 2, 2019 Bowery Ballroom

October 7, 2019
Photos courtesy of Will from We All Want Someone blog

Ty Segall is really good at music. I mean seriously, this guy has the most prolific catalog in recent memory, but is also a master at a litany of genres, and consistently releases high quality material. There’s an argument that Ty Segall is the most accomplished rock musician of this century. No, really, just take a look at his enormous body of work and its hard to argue against its superior quality.

We have been there for many of his NYC performances, going all the way back to the early years in the tiny DIY rooms but also conversely for two of his Webster Hall appearances. I’m not sure exactly why its been a few years since we last saw Ty, but within about 10 minutes of experiencing this magical night at Bowery Ballroom we immediately remembered why we’ve sought out this artist’s shows for many years. He’s simply a kinetic bundle of talent and energy, and now he’s surrounded himself with an all-star team of virtuoso friends that has become the “Freedom Band” for the last three albums.

Ty Segall’s most recent album, First Take, features the Freedom Band but reportedly has no guitars. The newest band member Shannon Lay plays a bouzouki, a Greek stringed instrument that resembles a guitar, so the idea that one of the world’s most prominent garage rock icons would forsake the guitar is a good cover story, but the reality is that the album doesn’t need guitars. The variety of instruments played by the Freedom Band more than fills the gaps on an album of great imagination and songcraft. As with Ty’s 2018 release Freedom’s Goblin, the artist’s moving away from restrictive genres is in its way his own statement about the evolution of his career — his freedom from labels if you will.

At Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night, First Taste was played start to finish as the first half of the show. Spoiler alert, Ty did play guitar during quite a few of the tracks, but stepped behind a front-of-stage drum kit for about half the numbers. Often accompanied by two bass guitars and two keyboardists, the new songs feature heavy rhythms, dense melodies, and often harmonized vocals. Sure, there’s some good old punk rock in the mix, but by the time the final number “Lone Cowboys” was performed, it was clear that 2019 Ty Segall is a very different and far more diverse artist than a decade before.

So, what did he do with the rest of the show — surprise! The band stepped back almost a decade for a straight-through performance of 2010’s Melted, Ty’s third album and the first of his many many releases to really stretch its wings beyond straightforward garage punk. But other than not sitting behind the drum kit again, Ty’s approach to this music was not so radically different from the “first set”. The Freedom Band put its stamp on this music and in a way proved that even 2010 Ty Segall was ahead of his time.

Its not often when a musician can play a two-hour show with literally no gaps of energy or interest, but that is exactly what Ty Segall is doing these days. By compiling a band of maestros to compliment his newest and most ambitious material, this artist is maturing into a true composer. As the show both looks forward and nods with respect to the past, its is clear that Ty Segall is an all-timer and we are fortunate that an artist of this caliber is sharing these moments. The Bowery show was very clearly the best concert I’ve seen this year, and one of the best I’ve seen this decade and yes, I was lucky to be there and to capture it.

This set was recorded as we always do at this venue, with Schoeps mounted at the front of the balcony and mixed with a very fine board feed. The sound quality is superb. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Set [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Set:

Ty Segall
Bowery Ballroom
New York NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

[Total Time 1:46:27]
01 Taste
02 Whatever
03 Ice Plant
04 The Fall
05 I Worship the Dog
06 The Arms
07 When I Met My Parents Part 1
08 I Sing Them
09 When I Met My Parents Part 2
10 Radio
11 When I Met My Parents Part 3
12 Self Esteem
13 Lone Cowboys
14 Finger
15 Caesar
16 Girlfriend
17 Sad Fuzz
18 Melted
19 Mike D’s Coke
20 Imaginary Person
21 My Sunshine
22 Bees
23 Mrs.
24 Alone
25 [encore break]
26 Fanny Dog
27 The Hand
28 She

Freedom Band: Mikal Cronin, Shannon Lay, Charles Moothart, Emmett Kelly, and Ben Boye

SUPPORT Ty Segall: website | buy official releases

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2 Responses to Ty Segall and the Freedom Band: October 2, 2019 Bowery Ballroom

  1. Steve
    October 21, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Ty hasn’t been a garage rocker for a very long time—I would argue he moved beyond that, as the accompanying
    article notes, after Lemons. That’s the last album that sounded like garage rock. Since then, it seems that uninformed music journalists (redundant, I know) and very young rock and roll fans have just kept pigeonholing him with the garage rock tag because they don’t actually know what garage rock is and the clueless rock press keeps calling him “garage rocker”. Back in the 90s, when these things were better understood, he would’ve been called an alt-rocker or an indie rocker and that would have sufficed. Anyhooooo, GREAT RECORDING! Thank you so much for taping and sharing, as always.

  2. October 23, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    I love Lemons very much but newer albums like Sleeper, Manipulator even more…

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