In the Loading Dock of New York’s Milk Studio last night (July 10),Fu Manchu put on a radiant performance to celebrate the art venue’s 10-year anniversary, as part of a raucous event sponsored by Spin, Red Bull and Magnum Photos, among others.
Revelry began early, as partygoers browsed artwork hanging in the gallery and drank keg-drawn Coors Light in the loading dock, where a mechanical bull gave rides near the outdoor barbecue. Meanwhile, tattooed skaters tore around the coping of a full-sized half pipe across the room.
At About 9 P.M., Fu Manchu guitarist Bob Balch, bassist Brad Davis, and drummer Scott Reeder walked over to their awaiting instruments and proceeded to lay siege on the studio with a wall of unyielding, heavy-rock instrumental. Soon after, frontman Scott Hill slung his crystal guitar over his shoulder and guided the group into their first song of the night, “California Crossing.” As a pit quickly erupted, the song’s heart-racing momentum carried straight through into their 2007 single “We Must Obey,” during which Balch battered a stringed onslaught of psychedelic riffs through the humid night air.
The band lasted for over an hour and a half, pulling songs from across their two-decade arsenal, including “Evil Eye,” “Time to Fly,” and “Boogie Van.” Beer cups flew during the raucous “Squash That Fly,” soaking most by the stage, as the proceedings finally came to an end with “King of the Road,” a roaring highway anthem fueled by road rage and young, American swagger. After the final notes faded, guests left with excited smiles and ringing in their ears, presumably wanting for a clean bath.
We Asked: Fu Manchu is touted as one of the ’90s’ premier stoner-rock groups. Who do you think best carries that torch today?
We Asked: “Fu Manchu is touted as one of the ’90s’ premier stoner-rock groups. Who do you think best carries that torch today?.”
Fu guitarist Bob Balch blasts out one of the band’s monster riffs / Photo by Lyndsey Matthews
Balch takes a breather to take in the scene / Photo by Lyndsey Matthews
Drummer Scott Reeder surrounded by some adoring fans / Photo by Lyndsey Matthews
Balch (foreground) and Hill tune up / Photo by Lyndsey Matthews
Hill wails awat / Photo by Lyndsey Matthews
One of the evening’s risk takers mounts the mechanical bull / Photo by Lyndsey Matthews
Less adventurous attendees peruse Milk Gallery’s artwork / Photo by Lyndsey Matthews