Levitation Review: Ty Segall & Parquet Courts

Blistering tag-team

Internet chatter bristled about Brooklyn/Denton quartet Parquet Courts dipping into the daytime talk show circuit. Rumors of sell-out were also fueled by May’s Danger Mouse-produced LP. If any crowd surfers skimming over a sold-out Stubb’s crowd Thursday were put off by the band’s Ellen gig, it didn’t show – even as cowbells on “Wide Awake” kicked in.

Parquet Courts (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Though forthcoming sixth album Wide Awake! weighed prominently in the 90-minute set, the congregation and the band’s energy pivoted on cuts sampling the critical darlings’ previous releases. Truncated bursts of energy on sub-two-minute, four-on-the-floor freakouts like “Light Up Gold II” whipped the audience into a frenzy, bolstering more introspective ramblings such as “Uncast Shadow of an Urban Myth,” which gave space for nerdy guitar riffs and blooming percussion.

California fret shredder Ty Segall’s headlining set also weighed heavily on 2018 material, drawing from January’s Freedom’s Goblin. Yet while Parquet Courts’ slower new material gave them a breather – or, at the very least, allowed the assemblage an opportunity for a beer run – Segall proved relentless from the moment he stepped onstage.

Ty Segall (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

In the studio, the 30-year-old Laguna Beach native incorporates a broad range of genres into his base. For the opening night of Levitation 2018, he and his four-piece Freedom Band ran through psychedelic garage rock that could’ve doubled as Eighties speed metal. The Beck-like quirk of Hot Chocolate cover “Every 1’s a Winner” sounded Sabbath-esque in its intensity, with Segall tipping his white locks back and letting out primal screams where a falsetto once sat.

Later, the pop camp of “Fanny Dog” melted away into a full-out guitar assault. And “She” blistered with extended guitar solos heavy on the whammy bar and headbanging that thrashed through the crowd. There was absolutely zero chill, in the best way.

Ellen, are you looking for any new bookings?

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Levitation 2018, Ty Segall, Parquet Courts, Ellen

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