Foxy Shazam gives eccentric performance
As Daisy adjusted his tape-repaired glasses, he shared a realization about his life as a touring musician.
“I literally spent the majority of my 20s on a moving vehicle on the highway; that’s kind of crazy if you think about it,” he said.
Daisy is the bassist of Cincinnati-based rock band Foxy Shazam, who performed Monday at The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave.
Since its formation in 2004, Foxy Shazam has experimented with varying sounds, and Daisy said the band has no intention of settling on just one.
“We just had this slab of rock, like a sculptor does, and we kind of hacked away at it, and there were accidents where huge chunks would fall off parts of it, but what was left, whatever that is, is Foxy Shazam,” he said.
Foxy Shazam’s opening number Monday evening was from the band’s most recent album, “The Church of Rock and Roll.”
The track, “Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll,” has all the components of a classic Foxy jam—driving rhythm, heavy bass, intricate guitar riffs, spastic keyboarding and frontman Eric Nally’s recognizable vocals.
Over the years, the band has become infamous for its high-energy performances. Monday night, they were as unpredictable as fans anticipated. Nally spurred strong responses from the crowd when he voiced an unusual demand.
“Give me a cigarette,” he said. “More than one — give me a hundred.”
Nally lit the handful of cigarettes that were thrown onstage and received a gasp from the onlooking audience as he ate the burning cigarettes.
Foxy Shazam keyboardist Schuyler White embraced a spontaneous mindset Monday night when he rocked out his keyboard while crowd surfing. Daisy said the band’s goal is to bridge the gap between the crowd and the stage.
“Obviously, there’s a band and performer split, but ideally, that should disappear and everyone should just have fun at the show,” Daisy said. “It’s about the crowd and the band doing something together.”
*The fans *
It only took one song for MSU alumnus Jay Glossup to consider himself a legitimate fan of the rock-opera band.
“I’m a recovering music pirate,” he said. “‘(The) Church of Rock and Roll’ was the first CD I’ve bought in nine years. I heard the song (“Forever Together” ) and was sold.”
Detroit resident Khriscinda Granaas said she became a lifelong fan shortly after the band’s formation. Although The Loft’s doors weren’t scheduled to open until 7 p.m., Granaas arrived at 3 p.m. to ensure her spot at the front of the line.
Her consistently early arrivals have given Granaas the opportunity to spend time with band members before their shows, and over time, she has developed a lasting relationship with them.
“Honestly, they’re a complete 180 on- and offstage,” she said. “Onstage, they’re crazy, and offstage, they’re calm and humble.”
Daisy said the band’s eccentric onstage behavior is an effort to involve the audience as much as possible.
No-preference freshman Alicia Noffke said being an audience member at a Foxy Shazam show is almost as memorable as the show itself.
“The fans are pretty rowdy; (the crowd) is pretty intense,” she said.
A career in the works
The anthemic lyrics and high-pitched operatic vocals found in Foxy Shazam’s music aren’t typical aspects of today’s rock ‘n’ roll scene. Their throwback style has often resulted in a comparison to classic-rock icon Queen.
Daisy expressed skepticism regarding the comparison.
“I get it, but I don’t think it’s accurate or fair,” he said. “They’re a little sprawlier and grandiose.”
When it comes to their success, he said, the band has been nothing but blessed.
“We’re very lucky to be able to tour and get on a bus when you think about the misfortune that could befall us,” he said. “It goes beyond if I’m comfortable. It’s more like being grateful that I’m bodily, emotionally able to do this. It’s a great blessing.”