Wow wow wow. I’d heard Fleet Foxes were tremendous live but I was really impressed by them tonight at the Metro. Walking on stage and launching into Sun Giant and Sun It Rises I realized that this is a band that has arrived on the music scene fully formed. Most bands take years and years to find their own little spot on stages and on records…but Fleet Foxes have nailed it out of the gate.
Those harmonies…well they were simply stunning. But Robin Pecknold’s voice was even better. There seemed to be more passion in the songs live than on the record, which isn’t a criticism of the record, just a testament to what a powerful live performer Pecknold is (reluctant though he may be at times).
It’s hard to pick a highlight in a set that was nearly flawless, but Your Protector definitely needs a mention. It’s actually one of least favourite songs on Fleet Foxes but the band (who are superb in their own right) just breathed so much life into it on stage.
The band played most of Fleet Foxes and the Sun Giant EP but they still had time to throw in a couple extras – both during Pecknold’s solo moments on stage. A cover of Judee Sill’s Crayon Angels was great but it was the traditional Katie Cruel that was probably my favourite moment of the night. Played solo by Pecknold to kick off the encore, the singer unplugged his guitar and moved in front of the mic and played the song straight to the crowd without any form of amplification. It was a truly memorable performance.
The night ended with the Dodos joining Fleet Foxes on stage for Blue Ridge Mountains. With the extra percussion, the song proved to be a fitting, upbeat finale to a great show. As the house lights came up I think nearly everyone in the venue was left wanting more.
I’m pretty certain I will be one of many praising this gig. The enthusiastic crowd hung off every single word and greeted every single song with applause and cheers as if they were old classic tunes we’d been singing since childhood. As my first proper gig of 2009, I could not have asked for a more impressive way to kick off the year.
Sun It Rises
Drops In The River
White Winter Hymnal
Crayon Angels (Judee Sill cover)*
He Doesn’t Know Why
Katie Cruel (trad.)*
Tiger Mountain Peasant Song*
Blue Ridge Mountains
*Robin Pecknold solo
The Dodos supported and I was initially really impressed with their set. I’m only familiar with one of their songs (Fools, which was damn awesome) but their unique stage setup and powerful percussion were instantly intriguing. As the set wore on I lost a little bit of enthusiasm as too many of the songs felt a bit samey and a number of them needed to find their endings a tad sooner. Having said that, I am definitely going to check out the album.