Here’s the answer to that simple question:
Free Energy is a band that not only has their stage show solidly down pat, but they can transform any (and I mean ANY) venue into an intimate, sweaty, raging dance party. This is definitely a sizeable task in Los Angeles. However, as they continue to prove, recently via the first night of their September residency at The Echo, these guys have got “it” (it being truly dance-worthy rock music) and they radiate their energy into the crowd with ease. Something about these guys and their tunes just encourages you to let loose; give ‘em a song or two and you’ll know what I mean! What can you expect to see? Front man Paul Sprangers commanding the attention of the audience while passionately dancing, belting out tunes, and pointing out/connecting with people he knows are feeling it just as much as he is. Of course, there is no lack of excitement pouring from Sheridan Fox and Scott Wells both shredding insane, perfectly executed guitar riffs and “battling it out” all in good fun. Then there’s Evan Wells on bass and Nick Shuminsky on drums, rounding out the intense, dancy rhythms that will get your feet moving and head shaking. For their residency, FE brought (and will continue to bring) special musician guests (like a killer sax player who rocked some amazing solos), a solid lineup of bands each night and comedic relief in between sets.
Honestly, this is by far the BEST free show you could chose to go to, and you get two more chances this month. Come get lost in the music, shake your tail feather and meet your new favorite band (Or if you’re like me, get your FE fix)!!
Before the show on Monday, I took five with the guys of FE and asked about the upcoming residency shows and what they’ve got cookin’ aside from all that, here’s what they had to say:
What can people expect for the next two residency nights?
Sheridan: Well…that’s a surprise.
Jo: Can you give some hints?
Sheridan: Hmm, some more cover songs, some more new songs…
Sheridan: Yup, fancy pants. There will be some guys telling jokes. Oh and there’s going to be a picture of Paul next to Fancy Pants in the next OED.
Nick: Different comedians each night.
Jo: Are they all comedians you know?
Nick: Pretty much, yeah.
Paul: We went on tour with one of the guys, Nick, a few years ago with Mates of State.
Sheridan: We contributed a song to DC Pierson’s mix tape that went along with his book release. That’s how he jumped on board.
Paul: And Andre knows some Philly people, she knows Sean Tillman off Har Mar Superstar and he’s a funny guy.
Why The Echo?
Nick: Its one of the best places in LA. I live around the corner, and clearly I was trying to get the venue closest to where I live, you know a locals only kind of show.
What are you guys working on now?
Paul: We have a bunch of new, awesome songs. I think we may need to lay some sax tracks on ‘em. (Their guest sax player was in the room, the look on his face was priceless.)
Scott: We’ve been working on new stuff and have rented a house out in Joshua Tree.
Nick: Yeah, we’ve been mobile touring and now that we have gaps we try to find interesting, inspiring places to go setup. We’ve been working there for a couple weeks out in the desert amongst the tarantulas.
What’s up with Free Energy Power Hour? Is it coming back?
Paul: It’s coming back, we’ve got to get the writers room going.
Scott: There are a lot of ideas floating around but no work goin’ on.
Paul: There might be a new video called ‘Papa Cappuccino’ coming out. Its about Scott getting ready to get a cappuccino.
Scott: It’s more about the preparation.
Paul: The anticipation.
Scott: Yeah, and then probably getting one. So look forward to that. Then there will be a cassette release, probably a bundled DVD and Cassette or VHS tape. It all depends on your player.
Aside from the residency, what do you guys have going on through the end of the year?
Nick: Going to China at the end of November and into December…we think. The Chinese government is involved so who knows. There was one year we were booked and then within a month we were told none of the foreign bands could enter the country.
And for those who’ve not seen it, here’s a taste of FE Power Hour (This is my favorite episode!):
(Note: If you want to see more about what I think about their tunes/live show, see my previous write up & interview with Paul here: http://badassbandsblog.com/2013/04/15/badass-band-71-free-energy/ )