JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

January 13, 2011
Spaceland
Los Angeles, CA USA
Review by Roy Turner
Photos by Roy Turner

Fu Manchu

Tight and Loud as Ever

On this night, it wasn't just a regular set from Fu Manchu, it was a delve into a popular trend as of late (that I wholeheartedly support), of choosing one of their older (and usually their most solid), LPs and performing it in its entirety. Tonight's choice: In Search of... the 1996 powerhouse that really set them apart (and ahead) from the pack. In the wake of the demise of stoner rock/desert legends Kyuss that same year, and everyone borrowing their sound, this injecting a much needed charge, and this LP still really holds up 15 years later.

Promoted as two sets (but was played seamlessly), one of newer material and other older favorites. The only separation of the two was after about 8 songs was leader Scotti Hill taking a pronounced pause and before hitting the first power chord of Regal Begal, walking up to the mic in his unmistakable surfer dude accent and says "Well, see you in about 40 minutes", indicating that they were about to play all of In Search of...with no break.

Fu Manchu make the low points interesting, and not just to make the high points seem high. Everything feels purposeful and everything works so well. They ease off the gas and the atmosphere forms.

The lyrics on Fu Manchu's releases tend to stick to the topics of muscle cars, skateboarding, UFOs, Chevy Vans, pinball, and Bigfoot. They have been featured on compilations put together by Tony Hawk and ESPN's X Games, invited to perform on the US television program Monster Garage, and featured in the documentary about skateboarding's founding crews, Dogtown and Z-Boys.

When you are at one of their shows, its odd how musically they are able to convey those ideals so well. At any moment you are expecting Tony Alva to come through the crowd on a skateboard. The whole thing just feels like a Thrasher Magazine spread come to life.

On this night they were as tight (and loud) as ever.

On this night, it wasn't just a regular set from Fu Manchu, it was a delve into a popular trend as of late (that I wholeheartedly support), of choosing one of their older (and usually their most solid), LPs and performing it in its entirety. Tonight's choice: In Search of... the 1996 powerhouse that really set them apart (and ahead) from the pack. In the wake of the demise of stoner rock/desert legends Kyuss that same year, and everyone borrowing their sound, this injecting a much needed charge, and this LP still really holds up 15 years later.

Promoted as two sets (but was played seamlessly), one of newer material and other older favorites. The only separation of the two was after about 8 songs was leader Scotti Hill taking a pronounced pause and before hitting the first power chord of Regal Begal, walking up to the mic in his unmistakable surfer dude accent and says "Well, see you in about 40 minutes", indicating that they were about to play all of In Search of...with no break.

Fu Manchu make the low points interesting, and not just to make the high points seem high. Everything feels purposeful and everything works so well. They ease off the gas and the atmosphere forms.

The lyrics on Fu Manchu's releases tend to stick to the topics of muscle cars, skateboarding, UFOs, Chevy Vans, pinball, and Bigfoot. They have been featured on compilations put together by Tony Hawk and ESPN's X Games, invited to perform on the US television program Monster Garage, and featured in the documentary about skateboarding's founding crews, Dogtown and Z-Boys.

When you are at one of their shows, its odd how musically they are able to convey those ideals so well. At any moment you are expecting Tony Alva to come through the crowd on a skateboard. The whole thing just feels like a Thrasher Magazine spread come to life.

On this night they were as tight (and loud) as ever.