December 1, 2013

White Fence, "Live in San Francisco"

The man known as White Fence normally works the lo-fi playbook. Prolifically, actually, and with great success. His records, some made with a few collaborators, have a thin, barely held together aesthetic, all pop and mist and very little gloss. But live, when he plays with a full band, everything gets huge. The group captured here, playing at Amnesia on Valencia street in SF, comes through like a herd of wild animals running across the stage and through the audience. The songs aren't just sonically heavier, but more emotionally substantial, more catchy. There are some raging moments that stretch for five or six minutes before exploding into feedback and cooling off. Everyone takes a deep breath for a few seconds, then the fireworks start all over again. And so it goes, an hour-long recitation of bedroom songs played in the big church. This is a great live album.