Foxygen unleashes musical mayhem on FFF Fest

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Tina Phan/American-Statesman
Tina Phan/American-Statesman

Tina Phan/American-Statesman

A year after Foxygen’s early afternoon set at ACL Fest ended in a total meltdown, the band’s FFF Fest performance proved that yes, singer Sam France is still pretty much insane. Only this time, within the confines of a nine piece band that includes a trio of frantically dancing backup singers in glittery black and silver dresses, the madness was captivating, borderline brilliant.

The backing outfit, led by chief instrumentalist Jonathan Rado who took turns on keys and guitar, served up sprawling jams punctuated vocals from the singers. This provided a solid melodic structure for France, shirtless, with a pair of black jeans so tight and low cut that a wardrobe malfunction seemed inevitable, to do what he does best. He flailed. He screeched. He flung his arms around in some sort of manic Watusi. He tossed his body backwards onto the stage, knocking over a monitor and possibly making an offering to the ghost of Freddie Mercury. It came across as some sort of deranged revisionist doo wop.

France is loaded with explosive, unhinged energy. The kind of fire that could either propel him to stratospheric stardom or catastrophic implosion. Or possibly both.

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