The French Cassettes had the job of warming the crowd up on Saturday for the second night of The Stone Foxes residency at The Chapel, in San Francisco. This was not a problem for them as they came equipped with their fresh-faced and danceable brand of indie pop. Catchy tracks with tasty rhythms, like “We Were Fun,” got the crowd moving quickly. They gave way to Annie Girl and The Flight who took the stage and created a hypnotic concoction of velvety vocals, and fuzzed out guitar riffs that fully captured the audience’s attention for the main event.
The Stone Foxes brought all the warmth of a family reunion to their hometown audience, but without the cheek pinching and mysterious casseroles. The whole thing felt like one big rocked out celebration. They came out the gate with the irresistible single “Psycho,” then launched into two new tracks from the forthcoming album, Twelve Spells. The Foxes performance of “It Aint Nothin’” was so tight and funky, that you would never guess the band had just released the song a day prior as part of their #FoxesFirstFriday’s campaign, in which they’re releasing one track from Twelve Spells on the first Friday of each month for a year.
The Stone Foxes’ talented six man lineup allows them a remarkable amount of interchangeability. Over the course of the set we saw three different lead vocalists, a revolving rhythm section, and a lead guitarist who doubled on fiddle. This fluidity lent a dynamic quality to their performance that kept things from ever becoming stagnant or predictable. Furthermore, the band welcomed a variety of guest’s onstage during their set. Midway through, they brought Annie Girl back up for a haunting rendition of Sonny & Cher’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” with a stripped down guitar and violin accompaniment. This mellow reprieve was the only moment in which the band, and the audience, were given a moment to catch their breath between swampy anthems like “Stomp,” and head banging blues like “I’m a King Bee,” which was used to close the set.
When the band left the stage, the crowd predictably demanded more, and the sweat soaked Stone Foxes returned to the stage with a few guests in tow. What came next was a note-for-note cover of Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath,” complete with the rain sounds and church bell introduction (which was eerily fitting set in The Chapel). The Foxes closed the evening by bringing out a brass section for a glitter infused version of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.” The crowd was indeed spellbound by the energy these boys brought to their performance, and I do not doubt next Saturday at The Chapel will rock equally hard. Check out the details here.
Review by Brian Ogden. Photos by Nate Chavez.