Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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« Preview: Foxygen at Cabaret Metro Thursday, April 9 Finding Vinyl Diamonds in the Rough: A Newbie's Guide to Crate Digging »

Concert Fri Apr 10 2015

Photos/Review: Foxygen at Cabaret Metro Thursday, August 9th, 2015

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Sam France is a maniac. In a good way, that is. If you took the antics of Matthew Shulttz of Cage the Elephant and combined it with a little paisley, you might have something close. Or, even more accurate a Kevin Barnes in the height of Of Montreal's career. At the same time, there are also some heavy glam influences within the set, recalling the unpredictable energy and theatrics of a Rocky Horror Picture Show or Hedwig and the Angry Itch sort of feel with a combined drama and music and choreography from three energetic dancing ladies AKA Star Power.

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has created three studio albums filled with blissful folk, pop, and psychedelic tones. Live, their music takes on a much different feeling (Foxygen's website actually describes it as punk). The experience is charged up and the songs are ready to transform into a wildness that is it's very own animal, featuring a lead singer that may one day hail among the very greats that are Freddie Mercury of Queen, for example, if he doesn't accidentally break all of the bones in his limbs first. Lead singer Sam France is on fire. He is a collection of particles frantically crashing through space and all across the stage. It's difficult to keep your eyes on him and yet impossible to take them off. He is a charming fast paced enigma, one to consider after the show is long over and your safe from a thrashing crowd, passionately enthralled with song.

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If you hadn't already gathered what this review has been saying, France on his own is like a one man glam 75 minute marathon dominating the stage. In addition to that, he had three dancers, a keyboardist, two guitarists, a bass player and a drummer which made for a full rich sound that really brought some of their recorded tracks to fruition and provided the audience with a performance that was filled with moments that were anything but dull as France, free from any instrument, thrashed around, towered above the crowd, fell to his knees, jumped around, and in general made it seem like he suffered from the kind of hyperactivity that can actually be entertaining.

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With all that energy, France deserves to play larger and larger venues and will probably get there sooner than later. The passionate crowd certainly relished in his every flail and crushed against each other to get even closer than they were so there's a definite following growing. Additionally, with his youth, France and co. could have a career of many albums left to go! A couple of asides-when this reviewer was unlocking her bicycle, one of the females of the couples in attendance was talking about a man she was dating and proclaimed, "But no one is as glam as Sam France" and while this reviewer was waiting for the light to change on Addison and Racine, a car blaring Foxygen had people dancing in the crosswalk.

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lesigh / April 10, 2015 8:43 PM

"France deserves to play larger and larger venues and will probably get there sooner than later"

I assume this is your first time seeing them? They've played many a bigger venue, in Chicago no less.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
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