Frankie and the Witch Fingers
October 15, 2019
James Brown Arena
Review by Joseph Hett / Photos by Greg Perry
Frankie And The Witch Fingers Are Legendary In Augusta
Frankie and the Witch Fingers came to Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday night to showcase their unique brand of music to an unexpecting crowd at the James Brown Arena. The Los Angeles-based raw rock-garage-psych-jam band has been on tour supporting Cheap Trick and ZZ Top in large venues across the nation. This was their last show with those bands, but they will continue on the road with their own headlining shows.
Dylan Sizemore (vocals/guitar), Shaughnessy Starr (drums), Josh Menashe (lead guitar) and Alex Bulli (bass) make up Frankie and the Witch Fingers. No one in that band has the name “Frankie.” Sizemore said in a past interview that the band’s name was inspired by his cat, Frankie, while it played with shadows that resembled the fingers of a witch.
They came out right on time and started with “Brain Telephone” from 2017’s album with the same name. Sizemore, dressed in a white t-shirt and shorts, positioned his guitar high while strumming away. He immediately began to headbang to the fast-paced rhythm and would continue to do that their whole set. More on that later.
They featured “Pleasure,” from their newest album “ZAM” (2019). And the rest of the set would emanate from this album except the last song. Bulli’s driving, funky bass helped provide a throwback party atmosphere. The crowd was starting to warm up to them and gave an applause of approval.
Starr was a monster on drums while holding a fast groove for “Realization.” Menashe jumped in shredding his guitar. Near the end of the song, they down shifted into another time signature for more of a groovy feel. After one more down shift, the song ended.
“Underneath You” started up with a cool bluesy riff, then the phase shifter got cranked up as they took us on a mind-expanding journey. Starr drove the drum kit like driving a runaway train down the tracks not missing a beat. During this extended song, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen could be seen on the side of the stage admiring Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ spectacular performance. Nielsen even got in on the headbanging, but it wasn’t as violent as Sizemore’s.
They ended their set with “Tea” from 2018’s album “Drip/Tea.” Sizemore started up with fast paced strumming. Heavy and foreboding riffs would come and go while Menashe provided blazing solos all song long. The feedback from the amps was deafening as the psychedelic hoedown ended.
In a 5-song set, they impressed everyone from a rockstar to the average people in attendance. After Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ set, the concourse was buzzing with folks discussing what they just had witnessed.
Probably the greatest comment in history was overheard in the men’s restroom. The guys were chatting amongst themselves about Frankie and the Witch Fingers. Then a man with a thick Southern drawl blurted out, “I can’t believe that man’s head didn’t fall off” (referring to Sizemore’s constant headbanging). Then all of the gentlemen continued talking about Frankie and the Witch Fingers.
And that is how legends are made.