Ty Segall and the Muggers play Thalia Hall

(Photo courtesy of TY-SEGALL.COM)
(Photo courtesy of TY-SEGALL.COM)

If a man donned in a demented, oversized baby mask screaming into a microphone ever sound appealing, then the Ty Segall and the Muggers show Monday night at Thalia Hall would certainly quench that thirst. Starting the set with a fake umbilical cord in hand, Segall instigated frenzy right away by beginning with some favorites of his latest album “Emotional Mugger.” Some members of the audience gave each other looks almost as if to ask “why are we here to see a 28 year old man mosh in a creep baby mask?” However, most welcomed the bizarre sight with vigor. Segall, who has dabbled in genres ranging from heavy metal inspired rock to experimental pop dipped in a fine layer of fuzz, has raised the bar for crowd interaction.

Ty Segall and the audience are like a young couple stuck in their honeymoon phase; they just can’t get enough of each other. Even though Segall kept reminding the audience how much he hated the barricade placed a few feet away in front of the stage, nothing stopped him from precariously balancing on the rails to screaming in the faces of those in the audience. The relationship between the band and fans is a visceral one, with both people in the crowd and Segall aggressively moshing with little sign of slowing down throughout the show. Some performers rely on their music alone, choosing to stay stagnant in one place on the stage. Ty Segall is not one of those performers. Even though musically the performance was spot on, the band upped the ante by surging pure, infections raw energy while reveling around the stage.

“I’ll let you sing if you promise me that you’ll stage dive at least 3 times,” Segall told a fan before jumping into the crowd, causing an excited frenzy in the audience. Segall consistently blurred the lines between viewer and performer, whether it was by prowling around in the crowd or letting a teenage boy take his place as front man. Segall also mixes his ridiculous stage personality with borderline disturbing humor, referring to the crowd as “his children” as he begged for his imaginary mother to return. It’s weird, it’s unusual and it’s uniquely Ty Segall.

Even if a person in the crowd wasn’t previously familiar with Ty Segall and the Muggers, they would at least be frightened if not pleased by the performance. Whatever Ty Segall is doing, it definitely hasn’t been done before.