“Alright, we’re Thee Oh Sees from San Francisco, California. Thank you very, very much for having us here tonight. It is an absolute motherfuckin’ pleasure,” gushes John Dwyer, all in the same breath, charmingly turning this entire greeting into one sentence. He’s as ready to start the band’s set as the audience is. Game time.
After my incessant babbling about how I think Thee Oh Sees are the greatest live band in the world, I can finally put my money where my mouth is. Filmmaker Ray Conception taped Dwyer and crew’s recent set at New York’s South Street Seaport, and even with the barrier between audience and group (something I assure you they aren’t used to), this four-song video has all the ingredients of a top-shelf Oh Sees performance: Each of the four members thrashing about onstage? Check. Mic-swallowing? Check. A dude who looks suspiciously like Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan in the audience? Check. The entire top half of Dwyer’s face in danger of being engulfed by his bangs? Check. Setlist? This group plays at least 150 shows a year and haven’t written a single one. If you can find a band as spontaneous, as kinetic, as fun as Thee Oh Sees are live, I’m open for suggestions.
MP3: Thee Oh Sees – “I Was Denied”