When indie folk giants Fleet Foxes announced earlier this year that they’d be extending their 2018 tour with a stop in the Alamo City, I freaked out a little bit. Like it’s fucking Fleet Foxes, arguably the best indie rock band on the planet (come at me, Radiohead fans). Since soaking myself in the sounds of their first EP through their full-length records, my love for the five-piece Seattle group has only grown, and their performance last night at the Tobin Center only reaffirmed that conviction.
We arrive to the Tobin Center For The Performing Arts a little early, to make sure to catch the openers Amen Dunes. Signed to the well-known Sacred Bones label, the group had sort of the perfect sound to open for the Foxes, a kind of psychedelic R.E.M, meets weirdo pop and post-punk. Definitely check out their song “Blue Rose.”
After Amen Dunes came Fleet Foxes, who walked onto their stage as the lights dimmed to pull the audience through what was to be a magical evening filled with three part vocal harmonies that soared over majestic movements of folk inspired singer-songwriter indie rock.
Shit was intense to say the least.
Launching into their set with “Grown Ocean,” the closing track off Helplessness Blues
, the audience, a mixed demographic of hipsters, hippies and young professionals of multiple generations, tore into applause welcoming the onslaught of indie goodness with frontman Robin Pecknold charging the way.
For two hours the band jumped around their entire catalog, even reaching all the way back to 2008’s The Sun Giant
Engaging in friendly banter in between songs, someone from the audience yells “Tacos!” to which Pecknold responds, “This one’s for the tacos
,” and proceeds to play the fan-favorite “Mykonos” as the crowd laughs and cheers at the same time.
What follows next is an intimate set with just Pecknold and his acoustic guitar singing and playing “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” and “Oliver James” from the self-titled album.
I may or may not have cried for both songs.
Closing with the iconic “Blue Ridge Mountains,” the ending of a three-song encore, the crowd burst into a standing ovation cheering on the band that left the room resonating with a sort of cheerful vibration, as if the crowd, collectively, had experienced some sort of miracle together.
If you were there last night to witness what is definitely in my top 10 concerts of all time, then you know that Fleet Foxes absolutely destroyed the audience in shimmering waves of majestic songwriting and musicianship. If you weren’t there, it might be worth the drive to go see them in El Paso later today.
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