LIVE REVIEW: Thee Oh Sees @ The Shark Bar, Miami | 09.01.16

Californian garage-psych legends Thee Oh Sees have been no strangers to these shores over these past five or so years (I’m counting this as the fourth time now that I’m seeing them) and in line with their hard working touring ethos tonight sees a solid and wildly enthusiastic crowd on hand to witness their sheer ball tearing energy on full display at Gold Coast music venue, Shark Bar in Miami.

A new, somewhat younger version of the touring band is on hand tonight to deliver an amphetamised take on their signature retro-future, garage-psych sound. Thankfully their renowned synchronized twin drum attack remains, with dynamic tub thumpers Ryan Moutinho and Dan Rincon delivering a visually captivating and oomph-worthy spectacle for those new to the band. In the absence of long time keyboard player and backing vocalist Brigid Dawson, the band brings a fast paced, rock-centric focus to the vast majority of tonight’s set, smashing out just under an hours worth of adrenalised sonic mayhem.

Live high water mark The Dream makes an early appearance, priming those assembled with it’s epic ebb and flow. Unsurprisingly there is a focus on tracks from most recent studio release Mutilator Defeated At Last, with razor sharp wig outs such as Lupine Ossuary and Poor Queen translating smashingly to the live setting.

As the crowd steadily lose their marbles down the front, moshing with wild abandon, one cannot help but be swept up in the joyous spectacle of it all, twin drums lined up towards the front of stage, bass player Tim Hellman (formerly of noisy garage scuzzers Sic Alps) to the right, and head honcho John Dwyer conducting proceedings to the left of stage with his see through guitar slung up high, as is his trademark. Dwyer is one of the elder statesmen and true mavericks of his scene, from his ‘don’t give a toss’ dress sense of jeans shorts and striped sailors singlet through to his penchant for the full menagerie of crazy rock and roll faces and dizzying head tosses.

As their blazing comet of a set burns out brightly with the epic, kraut-rock channeling mantra of Contraption, we’re drawn to side of stage to witness the final rites, it’s raw power pulling an ever more frenzied response from the mosh-happy revelers up front.

It all seems to be over in a blazing flash… those already fans walk away vindicated, and those new to Thee Oh Sees live experience will no doubt be back on hand with new converts in tow the  next time they (hopefully) grace us again with their presence. Long may Dwyer and cohorts reign over the ever swelling audiences they continue to attract in this country..

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