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Monday, June 8, 2015

The Stone Foxes Sweat Through Their Shirts at GAMH

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 10:35 AM

click to enlarge KRISTINA BAKREVSKI
  • Kristina Bakrevski
The Stone Foxes
Trendy Dad
Andy Cabic
June 6, 2015
The Great American Music Hall

The Stone Foxes have claimed the keys to the city of San Francisco.

The will call line at the GAMH Saturday night snake-tailed back all the way to the venue's neighbors, a well-known Tenderloin gentleman’s club with a couple arguing outside of it ("Babe, you said it was cool, now you're acting all mad. I was just watching!").

Shannon Koehler, frontman of The Stone Foxes, walked up and down the line and welcomed each fan with a shoulder-wide grin and (often) a first-name-basis greeting. It became clear that this particular turnout was overrun by the Foxes’ close friends and family. The Great American Music Hall, whether or not aware, was hosting what felt like a massive homecoming party, or better yet, a family reunion for The Stone Foxes. Whether the fans were new friends, lured to the group after their high-energy (and high-numbered) performances at SXSW, or old ones (like the Koehler's childhood neighbor who has been following the young musicians since high school talent shows), everyone was greeted with a warm welcome. 

The San Francisco-based rock n’ rollers have been releasing a free track every month with their campaign, Foxes First Fridays, counting down to August’s full length release, Twelve Spells. With this highly anticipated album so near in sight, there was already a sense that this party was about to blow up. But this was amplified by the swarm of old love and left no doubt that those in attendance were in the right place at the right time.

That level of excitement in the venue may have been why when Shannon stormed the stage to a roaring house, possibly a little overzealous, he nearly took an accidental dive off stage. But as he found stable ground, and laughed it off with his fellow band members, his brother Spencer tore open the set with “It Ain’t Nothin’”. This level debauchery has grown to be expected at Stone Foxes shows.
click to enlarge KRISTINA BAKREVSKI
  • Kristina Bakrevski

With the pace set, The Foxes moved into “Everybody Knows”, a catchy display of gusto that could drive even a true grit biker bar to its heels for a dance. Then, with the first dynamic change of the night, Shannon stepped away to let Aaron Mort showcase his range and strength with “Eye For Love”, which features Aaron pushing the capacity of his lungs through stretched vocals to tease ears with a twisted dark blues love song.

“Dude, it feels so good to play at home,” Shannon said while saddling up to the drums.

Wasting no time, Spencer induced a rolling fever dream, grinding though the track, “Ulysses Jones.” By this time, The Stone Foxes had the entire audience by the gills but still wondering when the giant vintage-bulb “SF” sign would illuminate. So, without perpetuating suspense further, The ‘Foxes lit it up to usher in the forthcoming release, “This Town.”

From there on, The Stone Foxes kept a tight grasp on the crowd’s attention, moving from romantic violin solo to Shannon’s personal anthem, “Cold Like A Killer,” with the singer leaping onto a speaker stack. Koehler has made it clear, no doctor can caution the rock ‘n roll out of the passionate soul he unleashes on stage.

“Oh, don’t make me cry! Every time I come here you make me cry. Well, I cried one time,” Koehler admitted to the crowd as he dove into “Passenger Train.”

Afterward, a birthday celebration for Spencer grew into a full-scale dance party to the tune of “Stomp.” Then, just before the Foxes concluded regulation time, Shannon had the entire venue drop to the floor for a hushed Animal House-style breakdown in the middle of “She Said Riot.”

The Stone Foxes then tried to say goodnight with their shade of Slim Harpo’s “I’m a King Bee,” But their friends, fans, and family – all one and the same by this point – were never going to let the band off that easy. So the Foxes returned for an epic encore.
click to enlarge KRISTINA BAKREVSKI
  • Kristina Bakrevski
Shannon told SF Weekly last week that due to an exhausting heart condition he was having trouble relating to the youthful spirits found in peers his own age, but there was no sign of this reflected in Shannon’s stage presence Saturday night (besides perhaps, his completely soaked-through shirt). The band gives it everything they have when they take the stage, which left this reporter walking away knowing the Stone Foxes will one day be a household name. 

Set List:
*Batman Intro Music*
It Ain’t Nothin
Everybody Knows
Eye For Love
Ulysses Jones
This Town
I Want To Be You
Cold Like a Killer
Dying Star
She Said Riot
I’m a King Bee

Standout tracks:
It Ain’t Nothin 
Ulysses Jones 
This Town
Passenger Train

Find The Stone Foxes on the road on the dates listed below:

Jun 20 Folsom Rhythm and Blues Folsom, CA
Jun 23 The Loading Dock Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 24 Boulder Theater Boulder, CO
Jun 25 Oriental Theater Denver, CO
Jun 26 The Mishawaka Ampitheater Bellvue, CO
Jun 27 Main Street Square Rapid City, SD
Jun 28 The Pub Station Billings, MT
Jun 30 The Top Hat Missoula, MT
Jun 30 Top Hat Lounge Missoula, MT
Jul 01 The Big Dipper Spokane, WA
Jul 02 The Cannery Everett, WA
Jul 03 The Crocodile Seattle, WA
Jul 04 Lake Meridian Park Kent, WA
Jul 05 Waterfront Blues Fest Portland, OR
Jul 07 Music On The Half Shell Roseburg, OR
Jul 08 Humbolt Brews Arcata, CA
Jul 09 Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant Redding, CA
Jul 10 Lost On Main Chico, CA
Jul 11 Seven Sisters Fest San Luis Obispo, CA
Jul 17 Friday Night Live At The Plaza Cloverdale, CA
Aug 18 Village Plaza Olympic Valley, CA
Sep 13 Snow Basin Resort Huntsville, UT   
click to enlarge KRISTINA BAKREVSKI
  • Kristina Bakrevski

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