This mix really goes above and beyond, IMO. I’ve had “Patience” on repeat since I heard it over the weekend.. SO GOOD.
- 1. Nas & Damian Marley – “Patience”
2. Michael Kiwanuka – “Tell Me A Tale”
3. Grant Lee Buffalo – “The Whole Shebang”
4. The War On Drugs – “Baby Missiles”
5. Hooray For Earth – “True Loves”
6. Other Lives – “For 12”
7. Marissa Nadler – “Baby, I Will Leave You In The Morning”
8. Archie Bell & The Drells – “Tighten up”
9. Lou Reed – “Satellite of Love”
10. Calhoun Tubbs – (Medley)
11. Animal Collective – “Water Curses”
12. T. Rex – “Cosmic Dancer”
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The last time Fleet Foxes played the Fox Theater in Oakland was back in April of 2009, though Robin Pecknold opened for Joanna Newsom there last August. At that point, the band was still transitioning from small indie act to the folk powerhouse they are today. Last night’s performance demonstrated that the transition is definitely over – Fleet Foxes is mature, polished and prepared to draw a huge crowd.
It’s probably become cliche to say it, but seeing Fleet Foxes live really reinforces just what superbly talented musicians they all are. Most band members carefully swapped instruments between every “baroque harmonic pop jam” (their words), and all of the CSNY-esque harmonies were pitch-perfect.
They opened with the soft, instrumental “The Cascades” before launching into the steady momentum and shimmering flute of “Grown Ocean”. Most of the songs sounded nearly identical to the albums – typically a great problem to have – but it also meant the crazy sax at end of “The Shrine / An Argument” was just as annoying live. One huge exception to this was “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song”, which greatly benefited from a slower pace and added vocal harmonies.
The crowd reacted enthusiastically to “White Winter Hymnal” and “Mykonos”, but there was a curious lack of response to tracks I figured would get a larger reaction. One girl even asked me what song was playing during “Blue Ridge Mountains”. Really – “Blue Ridge Mountains”? Wasn’t that one of their singles? The setlist was admittedly weighted more towards Helplessness Blues than Ragged Wood or Sun Giant, so maybe folks just haven’t had time to listen to it.
Pecknold was relatively quiet throughout most of the set, expressing his gratitude to the audience and offering a few responses to some overzealous concert-goers. Despite their astounding musicianship, Fleet Foxes has yet to develop a very strong stage presence. After the Fake Last Song was over, the encore began with Pecknold on stage solo for the understated folk ballad “Silver Dagger”, which seemed to trigger more than a little crowd impatience. He was then joined by the rest of the band for the clearly requisite, soaring “Helplessness Blues”. After a few thank-you’s, they were off.
Aside from the fantastic performance, the show was also slightly unusual in that 1) someone in a full-on furry costume showed up right before they started playing (a fox, obviously), posing for inappropriate pictures with people, and 2) a guy asked me mid-show if there was going to be an intermission at some point. Um, what?
Finally, a personal note about concert etiquette: I’ve started to begrudgingly accept that people are going to talk at shows. I don’t understand why, but for some inexplicable reason there’s a certain percentage of people that will actually pay money to go see a performance and then loudly chat about their friend’s boyfriend through the whole thing. I know people probably go to shows for bands they’re not totally into, but Fleet Foxes? Fleet Foxes is not enough to get your attention? I’ve also started to realize, through a series of confrontational experiments, that people do not like to be told to be quiet at concerts. Duly noted, Chatty Kathy. Duly noted.
Fleet Foxes setlist:
1. The Cascades
2. Grown Ocean
3. Drops In The River
4. Battery Kinzie
5. Bedouin Dress
6. Sim Sala Bim
8. Your Protector
9. Tiger Mountain Peasant Song
10. White Winter Hymnal
11. Ragged Wood
14. He Doesn’t Know Why
15. The Shrine / An Argument
16. Blue Spotted Tail
17. Fake Last Song: Blue Ridge Mountains
1. Silver Dagger
2. Helplessness Blues
So if you still haven’t heard Helplessness Blues then first, shame on you, and second, stop everything in your life right now and listen to it. “Montezuma” is the first track but there is much, much more. I’m seeing them tomorrow at the Fox so review to come.
I’m guessing the majority of people who follow this playlist just listen to it in the background, but in this case: Check out the video for “Cadillac”. As an animation fan I can tell you it is SU-PERB.
- 1. Fleet Foxes – “Montezuma”
2. We Are Trees – “Sunrise Sunset”
3. Races – “Big Broom”
4. Jonny – “Candyfloss”
5. Clams Casino – “I’m God”
6. The Vacant Lots – “Cadillac”
7. WU LYF – “L Y F”
8. Yesterday’s Children – “Evil Woman”
9. Washed Out – “Eyes Be Closed”
10. The Fling – “Wanderingfoot”
11. Vetiver – “Rolling Sea”
12. Thao Nguyen – “Beat (Health, Life, and Fire)”
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