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"Go home & tell your parents what you saw tonight:" my evening with Foxy Shazam

Last Saturday night I was sitting at home, watching Beavis and Butthead make fun of Rob Halford's shoulders, when I got the urge to see what bands were playing that night. I got really excited and rushed out to the TLA in Filthydelphia (city of bother and loathe.) If you've never heard of Foxy Shazam, you need to Google them. They are three parts obnoxious and two parts pomposity and one part street performance.

I know it's really girly and trite to run through what everybody was wearing but I feel like I need to do that now. The guitar played (Loren Turner) had on gold beaded pants of the kind my grandma used to wear but they hugged his ass in a more appropriate way. Their bass player looked like he was in Jetboy. And Eric Nally was of course dressed as a mime with an eye patch. Alex Nauth, the trumpet player, had on a top hat and snakeskin pants that ripped halfway into the show and his horn section was hanging out. He was polite enough to untuck his shirt so it was a little covered but I could still peek at it. And peek I did. Listen to the song "The Only Way To My Heart" and watch out for the lyric "I pissed my pants in an expensive suit." Imagine a man in ripped leather pants gyrating to this while blowing into a horn.

Eric's awkward and rambling stage banter is awesome and rivals Paul Stanley. He said "we just signed a huge contract with Warner Brothers" and the crowd began to cheer and holler. He went on with, "the only thing cool about that is they gave each of us $95,000. That's right. $95,000 for each of us. And I don't know about the personal lives of the other people up here, but I'm pretty sure the rest of these guys on stage tonight have about $75,000 in their wallet tonight. But I spent all of my money. All of the money from doing all of this. What do you think I spent it on? (Crowd begins shouting, alcohol, hookers, etc) No. None of those things. Not houses. I didn't buy a bunch of plane tickets to exotic places. Not alcohol, I don't like alcohol. (Then he pauses for ten seconds.) I spent all of my money on....fireworks! Because I love fireworks!" (There were no fireworks at the show that evening.)

I have seen three examples of extreme keyboarding in my life. The first is Andrew WK. The second is the German keyboard player for the current White Lion lineup who pumped his first for the *entire* duration of "When The Children Cry." The third is Foxy Shazam's Sky White, who came out after the show and was talking to fans for 15 or 20 minutes and smiling wide the whole time.

It's easy for Eric's bombasticity to overshadow the other musicians' talent, so I just want to say it now: they're incredibly talented. This whole thing wouldn't be workable without their talent. But I have a lot to document about Eric's performance.

Believe me, there was lots of piggy-backing, microphone throwing, microphone twirling, cable lassoing, and hand-standing. This is to be expected.

But he asked for a cigarette. After being pummelled by cigarettes, he lit up three and smoked during the bridge. He held those three cigarettes like Marlene Dietrich. At the end of the song he put them in his mouth and swallowed them. During another song he stopped us in the middle and asked the drummer to slow down the last seven seconds "for the ladies and the gay guys." He told us that after last night's show in Brooklyn a kid killed himself because of something he said on stage. There was an awkward silence as some guy yelled out "Brooklyn!" while the rest of us tried to process what we were hearing. Eric said we should only take what he says on stage seriously if he says it in his regular voice and not his stage bellow. There were several awkward silences that were really exciting to me. You could tell Eric wasn't sure of what he was going to say until he said it.

He asked us whether we'd heard of a band called Arcade Fire. Clapping. Had we heard of Regina Spektor? Clapping. Had we heard of Marilyn Manson? Still clapping. Eminem? Some confused clapping. Dr. Dre? Crowd is catching on. Foxy Shazam? Insane cheering. "Well all those bands suck. Here's a Misfits song." They then covered "Hybrid Moments."

Come show's end the band put down their instruments and lined up at the front of the stage. Eric said "Usually at the end of the show we take off our shoes and headbang and act crazy. We take off our shirts. I string up the microphone cable to that beam in the ceiling and I swing off it. We act like monkeys. But we're not gonna do that tonight. You all paid $23 and I know you want a show. But we've done all that already and we are going to do something different." Then they sang the last song acapella. At the end of it, the band walked off stage and Eric said "go home and tell your parents what you saw tonight." He threw his mic on the floor. And that was it.

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