Frankie and the Witch Fingers bring a mind-bending show to SLO Brew Rock
From the moment the music began blaring through the speakers, the crowd was radiating with energy at SLO Brew Rock on the night of February 5. Pancho and the Wizards, a local band from San Luis Obispo, was the first of three bands to take the stage for a show characterized by heavy, fast-paced and energized psych rock. The band began their first song, and the crowd moved away from the center of the floor, as it became the designated mosh pit.
Pancho and the Wizards played a brief set of their original songs, including “Unstoppable Force Meets the Immovable Object” and “Smoke Stains.” They also played some of their unreleased music, to the excitement of some audience members. As with any show from Pancho at SLO Brew, the crowd was always moving, taking in the energy of the band’s music.
After their short opening set, the band began to pack up, with vocalist and guitarist Tristan Wildey giving the audience a simple “bye.” The crowd chanted for one more song as the Wizards walked off the stage to make way for the next band, MONSTERWATCH.
Luckily for fans looking for one more high-energy song from Pancho and the Wizards, MONSTERWATCH brought a lively set of punk rock to keep the crowd going. The three-piece band from Seattle, Washington had played alongside Frankie and the Witch Fingers for the duration of their 10-date west coast tour.
MONSTERWATCH picked from their discography of originals, including “Big Sin” and “Lick the Wall,” an energetic punk rock song featuring heavy, prominent bass guitar and pounding drums.
The band’s vocalist and guitarist John Spinney put his guitar down as he dived from the stage into the audience while yelling the lyrics to “Lick the Wall.” Throughout the night, Spinney made his way into the crowd more than once via stage dive.
Spinney kept the chaotic momentum alive in between songs, yelling at the crowd “what is up,” and expressing their excitement to be playing.
During one of MONSTERWATCH’s last songs, Spinney called for “everybody [to] jump,” bringing more people into the rowdy mosh pit.
The high energy and excitement from the two opening bands set Frankie and the Witch Fingers up to be a highlight of a headline performance. Members of Pancho and the Wizards and MONSTERWATCH watched from the side of the stage as the band put on a mind-bending show.
The band’s stage presence further added to their music; vocalist and guitarist Dylan Sizemore bounced around while headbanging, Nikki Pickle floated around with her bass guitar, Josh Menashe’s guitar and synth contributed trippy effects and heavy riffs and Nick Aguilar carried the upbeat tempo with skillful drum fills.
Frankie and the Witch Fingers never had a dull moment as they flowed from one song to the next. They played songs such as “Work,” their most recent release “Electricide” and “Dracula Drug,” an eight-minute-long song that begins with a rhythmic ticking before eventually morphing into a psychedelic jam that captures the band’s signature sound.
At the end of their set, the band set off the musical equivalent of an explosion, with Sizemore and Pickle flipping their guitars around to pick up intense feedback and Aguilar drumming away. As Frankie and the Witch Fingers walked off the stage, their instruments rang out and reverberated, setting up for the grand finale of the show and their tour.
Frankie and the Witch Fingers returned to the stage with MONSTERWATCH for one more song. Sizemore called the end of the tour “bittersweet.”
“Let’s f*ck sh*t up one last time,” he announced.
The last song of the night was an explosive cover of The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”
Sizemore set his guitar aside to belt the lyrics alongside Spinney, and the two took one last dive into the crowd.