The Stone Foxes @ Doug Fir Lounge: Review
Written by Ned Tilbrook on February 24, 2020
On Sunday night, California rock band The Stone Foxes took to the stage at the Doug Fir Lounge to deliver a raucous, energetic, and joyous sweat-drenched set for an enthusiastic crowd. First, they were warmed up by Fresno’s Strange Vine. The two-piece band used a mixture of drums, keys, guitar, bass, maracas, and even a cigar-box guitar to create their psychish blues rock sound. They were warmly appreciated by the crowd, including a large group of Portland’s contingent of Californians cheering Strange Vine, high school friends of some of The Stone Foxes, at every opportunity.
After a brief beer break, the main act took the stage. The Stone Foxes, fronted by Shannon Koehler, received a raucous reception as they emerged, launching into that bluesy rock-and-roll sound that is so inherently catchy you can’t help but be dancing within seconds of hearing them start to play. They then keep you moving with their sheer sense of urgency and energy – within twenty minutes Shannon Koehler was drenched in sweat, shouting into his mic, harmonica in hand.
Currently playing as a five piece, the band frequently introduce new instruments and switch between them during their live show. On Sunday night they began with guitar, bass, keys, vocals and drums, but the aforementioned harmonica, as well as a violin and an additional guitar all made appearances. Various members took a shift at the lead mic and Shannon Koehler switched to playing drums for a while. On another occasion, he snuck behind the amps, playing pantomime villain to the crowd, in order to smash some cymbals. All this helped give the show energy as band members constantly threw themselves into new roles with abandon, taking their turn at the mic, behind the kit, or with a different stringed instrument. Koehler’s skills as a front man were also in evidence as he urged the crowd forward and initiated call-and-response and clapping sections. A flying kick was the perfect way to end a set the built up and crescendoed perfectly, leaving the crowd screaming for more.
After just a few moments, the request was granted. It can be difficult to provide a fitting encore to such a bustling set that ended so perfectly, yet, The Stone Foxes managed it, finishing their encore with a cover of ‘Psycho Killer’ by Talking Heads. The whole room sang along to the chorus, yet another picture-perfect moment to end a night full of them. A Sunday evening well spent indeed – if you’re in search of a great live band to watch, make sure to check out The Stone Foxes the next time they’re in town.
The Stone Foxes release their new EP, Gold on Friday, February, 28th and they are currently touring in support of it. ‘Can’t Go Back’ is taken from Gold.
- Ned (Real Soon in Rose City)