If there was a word to describe Foxygen’s show at the Cellar Door in Visalia, it would definitely be “nostalgic.”

The $10 show started promptly at 9:30 p.m. on a hot August Friday night, with Dub Thompson opening the show. The heavy sound of the bass brought a good-sized crowd to the small club’s dance floor. The band incorporated a wide range of musical styles, including grunge, punk, dub, psychedelic, to full-on dance music. Dub Thompson had the crowd moving with its more dancey-er numbers and left them wanting more. Toward the end of their 10-song set list, they left the crowd feeling a bit confused, ending with a rap/punk tune that channeled an amateurish Beastie Boy track with the help of two musicians from Foxygen filling in. It was manic, confusing, and fell short for the crowd.


Foxygen followed their opening act much later into the night (at almost 11 p.m.) with their single, “How Can You Really.” The vibe of the L.A.-based, 8-piece band played with a more slow-tempo and “poppy” sound, echoing the sounds of the post-Woodstock era; they were a great contradiction to Dub Thompson. The pop undertones were greatly helped by use of the synth as well as three all-female back-up singers.

What really stood out of this band, apart from the sound and vibe, was the lead singer. Sam France, who is part of the duo who started the band, exhibited particularly nostalgic vocals and stage performance to the likes of Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, and Jim Morrison rolled up into one glamorous (and shirtless) wild child. At times, France, who is from Olympia, Wash., would occasionally converse with the crowd in a British accent while at other times a more rugged, Southern accent. It confused the crowd at times, with his stage antics being carried from the dance floor to the stage, but initially, the audience loved it.

“You like country music?” France asked the crowd, which followed with a roaring “YES!” from the packed crowd.

By their eighth number into the late evening, the crowd was getting finicky. “I’m getting so sick of this,” mumbled one of the audience members. Maybe it was because France rambled between transitions of the songs; maybe because there were too many soft rock ballads and not enough “star power.”

Their 15-song set list bounced between songs off of their first album, Take The Kids Off Broadway, their sophomore album We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic and their most recent, …And Star Power.



From intricate keyboard ballads to wailing guitar riffs to sultry back-up vocals, the long-haired glam rock worshippers that is Foxygen was electrifyingly fresh in the most nostalgic sense. Channeling the sounds of T.Rex and the visuals of Rocky Horror Picture Show, the band captured the crowd and whisked them away into a psychedelic pop dream.

Do you remember the days of San Francisco in ’69? Were you not even close to being born in that era? This band is for you.

Photos by Juan Verduzco for The Tastemaker & Sound N Vision. The rest of the show’s photos can be found here.