Review: Fleet Foxes First Listen at Stubb’s
The air was crackling with electricity – quite literally – at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater last night. But the menacing clouds and brief showers did not deter fans of Fleet Foxes in the least. If anything, it was the perfect atmosphere for a performance that was equally as stunning.
The show had a good mix of tracks from both their latest album Helplessness Blues and much beloved favorites from their 2008 self-titled debut. Songwriter and lead vocalist Robin Pecknold emerged from backstage and greeted the enthusiastic crowd with, “Is it still raining? No, right?” before launching with the band into the delicate instrumental “The Cascades” and then immediately following with the vibrant “Grown Ocean.”
One word resonated throughout the entire show: Gorgeous. There is something about the choral structures of Fleet Foxes’ songs that wouldn’t make sense on paper but absolutely blow the mind when they perform them. The multi-tiered arrangements and the ethereal harmonies continuously swept the audience away, all delivered with refreshing earnestness and not an ounce of pretension, which can be rather rare in bands these days that create such aural complexities.
Some definite crowd-pleasers were “Bedouin Dress,” the incredible high energy of “Sim Sala Bim,” the lovely “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song,” and the resplendent harmonies of “White Winter Hymnal.” The minimal and beautiful “Montezuma” and the extremely moving “Blue Spotted Tail” also need to be included on that list, and the rousing “Blue Ridge Mountains,” which inspired fans to sing along at the top of their lungs: “I love you/I love you/Oh, brother of mine.”
-Special thanks to Jerod Hruska for his assistance.
SEE PHOTOS FROM THE SHOW HERE!