Bros assemble! That is exactly what happened this past week when the men of FOXTRAX performed at The Studio at Webster Hall, sponsored by Pancakes and Whiskey, with a loud burst of what would be a sublime musical adventure. Contemporaries, Ryan Egan and Del Water Gap, lent their helping hands as well to start the night off right. With the success of their track and music video, Underwater, FOXTRAX have been riding high in the musical world this year and this show was no exception.
With the cool spring still lingering, folks were happily awaiting the warmth of The Studio upon arrival. However, the line was out the door and a humongous crowd of young fans greeted guests to shoulder to shoulder standing. It was an impressive full house. The venue chatter was deafening and the bar continued to be overcrowded all night long from thirsty listeners. A dark and rambunctious mesh of people occupied every inch of the space. From the stage, fans gazed onto the instruments being quickly set up by the men of FOXTRAX. The bass drum head displayed their signature mischievous golden fox logo and namesake. All three men, Ben Schneid, Jared Stenz and Jon Stenz, were busy at work organizing up and chatting away with one another with obvious anticipation. When they walked off for a bit to get pumped up for the set, high-fiving backstage and offering words of wisdom, the lights dimmed to illuminate the stage in a somber blue haze. Wearing all black, the men returned with booming cheers from the crowd.
A slight strum and thrum of the guitar started things off. With Ben singing away, it was hard to distinguish his vocals from the incessant yells from the audience. Slow beat rock was in the inception with a grind to follow. There was an early Nashville vibe that was intermixed with the tunes. Elongated lyrics and playing of words gave a pinch of grunge to the music as well. Mr. Schneid loved to stomp as he sang and wielded the guitar as the march never seemed to end. On the sides of the stage, people were filming the show to capture every moment of the wild ride. As things became more energized, soul oozed its way through with a lasting punch paired with powerful screams. Fans marveled at Ben’s red face and his veins sticking out from his neck as he emptied his lungs to unleash the strength of his vocal chords. Sweat glistened on their brows and the drips fell with every vibration that shook the room.
Hard rock entered the equation at this point with high guitar licks that resonated among the grooving bodies. It was catchy and danceable for all. Low wails flowed on through to enhance the groove even more. Smooth bass and drum work was shared among the two Stenz men, who looked immensely content with their work. A musical march was held and swirling drumsticks added onto the FOXTRAX flair. Here and there, poppy solos were heard that were shared with hand claps from the collective crowd. Funk was even present for a minute and the bass lead the charge. Ben continued to showcase his performance skills with what looked like to be a cross between a horizontal worm dance with an elaborate pulsing swagger. All that matched well with his continuous facial expressions of pure vibing magic. Fueled by an 80s genre focus, the antics were often shared throughout the night. Shouts to the crowd only increased their excitement for the rest of the set.
Towards the end, the blues guitar finally came into the fray. As Ben stood on top of the drum set he had to jump on stage to return to his spot of rock. At some point the control board for the guitar pedals broke, but that did not hinder their performance in the least. A simple plug in to the nearby amplifier kept the musical professionalism alive. Echoed vocals trailed off into the space alongside ethereal rock. Prior to the encore, Ben thanked the fans and they walked off to quickly come back after the chant, “one more trax” came. Jamming ensued and the session welcomed the keyboards for a but until the strong riffs took over once again. Ben get right up and personal with crowd bringing his face within inches to the lucky fans in the front for the finale. Underwater was their final tune and the solo and lyrics were extended for an ultimate finish. The men did it yet again.