Here's the thing: Admittedly, I was a little late on the Stone Foxes bandwagon. But it's quite another thing to be totally sold on a band after only a few minutes of seeing them live without hearing a single recording of theirs beforehand. That's exactly what happened to me (and I suspect quite a few others) when I caught them at this year's Outside Lands. It was one of the day's earliest performances–that time when everyone's just getting back into the swing of things, their first beer of the day only half-finished–yet by the second verse of their first song, this hungry San Francisco band already had the audience sitting in the palm of its hand.
It was amazing to watch unfold. Led by brothers Shannon and Spence Koehler, their ultra-bombastic, Zeppelin-esque throwback blues rock is a genre of music that hasn't been in vogue for decades–and that means phoning it in just isn't an option. It takes a certain amount of swagger (hello, Robert Plant circa 1971) to make harmonicas sound cool, you know? But songs like "Mr. Hangman," "Psycho," and their cover of Slim Harpo's "I'm A King Bee" were so unhinged and borderline animalistic with their deeply hip-swinging grooves, blown-out guitars and growled vocals that no one had a straight face at the end of it.
Judging by how ecstatic the band was to be fiercely repping their hometown and lighting a fire under the audience's collective behind, there's no way it was just a "festival thing." Those voracious converts left in their wake will follow them wherever they plug in. The Independent, where The Stone Foxes will lay down the law tonight, is just the next victim to fall prey to their sonic wrath.
Mahgeetah and Steve Taylor Band open. Show starts at 8 pm, tickets are $12 at the door, $10 in advance. 628 Divisadero St., 415-771-1421.