Though he’s been putting out music since 2016, I didn’t learn about the tremendously talented singer-songwriter Two Feet until this past Spring, when I first heard his dark and sultry “I Feel Like I’m Drowning.” Immediately blown away by his soulful, bluesy sound, I quickly made up for lost time by devouring all of his earlier music and becoming a huge fan. When I learned this summer that he was playing a show in Los Angeles at the legendary Fonda Theatre in November, I wasted no time ordering my tickets!
Based in New York City and born Zachary William “Bill” Dess, Two Feet has had quite an eventful year marked by major highs and lows. He toured extensively throughout the U.S. earlier in the year, also playing venues in Germany, The Netherlands, France and England in May. “I Feel Like I’m Drowning” topped the Billboard Alternative Chart (it also spent three weeks at #1 on my Weekly Top 30 Chart), and he appeared on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert in June. Yet he also struggled with periods of severe depression, which he’s openly discussed with his followers on social media. Thankfully, he’s now on the mend and feeling stronger and more positive, and I and his fans couldn’t be happier. He released his album A 20 Something Fuck on October 5, and played shows in Washington, D.C. and Brooklyn that same month, and then this concert I attended in L.A. on November 16th. (He’s also scheduled to begin touring with Panic! At the Disco on the East Coast in January, which includes a return to L.A. in mid-February.)
DJ/producer tim909 opened the show at 9:00 pm, a pretty late start time for an old codger like me. He’s opened a number of shows for Two Feet, and quickly got the crowd energized with his non-stop mix of exciting and hard-driving EDM & Nu-tech music. Some of the tracks he played included “Jamie Foxx,” “Machinarium” and “Kiba.” (You can check out his music on Soundcloud.) I’d really like to hear his music played at a club where I could let loose on the dance floor. I enjoyed his set a lot, but was eager for Two Feet to perform.
After a short intermission, Two Feet appeared on stage at around 10:00 pm to deafening cheers from the sold out crowd. Accompanied by his bandmate Huff, who does the live setup and handles the Ableton, drums, keys and other instrumentals, Two Feet opened with his instrumental “Felt Like Playing Guitar and Not Singing,” a track off A 20 Something Fuck. The moment his bluesy guitar notes filled the theatre and washed over our ears, we were in thrall. He often seemed to get lost in the music, his eyes closed as he sang in his gentle, sultry tones while coaxing sounds from his guitar that dazed our senses and gave us chills. On some songs, he’d let out an occasional exuberant “wooh” in a higher pitch than his usual singing voice. And one of the signature elements of his sound is the deep, heavy bass that adds tremendous impact and heft to his songs, and it was set to maximum for this show. The bass was so heavy at times that it reverberated off the walls and into our cores.
He moved about the stage as he played, which gave the show greater intimacy by bringing him closer to more people in the audience. He spoke a little between songs, but overall, he exuded a shyness and humility that was endearing. And even more endearing was the fact he wore a Back Street Boys T-shirt. He seemed genuinely touched by the size and enthusiasm of the crowd, and I’m pretty confident in saying he had our undivided love and respect. I don’t have a song set list, but he played most of them, including his popular tracks “Love is a Bitch,” “Had Some Drinks,” “Your Mother Was Cheaper,” “Same Old Song,” “Back of My Mind” and “You Say,” as well as his newest songs “Lost the Game” and “I Want It.” He even played a pretty good cover of the Bill Withers classic “Ain’t No Sunshine.”
The crowd went wild when he played his seminal track “Go Fuck Yourself,” and of course his biggest hit “I Feel Like I’m Drowning.” I apologize for the sound quality of this video I filmed on my Samsung Galaxy, as the heavy bass sounds overpowering and distorted at times (not to mention the added vocals of the women standing next to me!). But his awesome guitar-playing and on-stage charisma is strongly evident, and the lights and visuals are pretty terrific as well.
Two Feet played for approximately one hour and 15 minutes, then humbly thanked the crowd and walked off stage. The audience shouted for an encore, whereupon he and Huff returned as the stage lights went back on. He asked the crowd what he should play, then decided to do an encore of “I Feel Like I’m Drowning.” We would have been thrilled had he played “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”! He gave us his all, and we left grateful, happy and devoted fans.
Click this link for information on his upcoming tour with Panic! At the Disco.