UK guitar heroes Foals continue their extended tour for 2015s What Went Down on a stop to deliver the Beantown crazies one last dose of bombast before heading to Asia.
Whether you choose to categorize their music as rock or alternative, mainstream, or cutting edge, there’s simply no denying that the five lads from Oxford, England that comprise Foals are without question one of the best live acts out today.
Music fans here in the US have not fully embraced Foals the way they have across the pond and, believe it or not, for those here in North America, that actually works out in their favor.
The US Foals fanbase gets the pleasure of still being able to witness the band playing intimate club and small amphitheater settings that are all but a rare occurrence these days in Europe.
Before dismissing this fact as minor or even irrelevant, it’s worth noting that Yannis Philippakis and the boys regularly sell out 20,000+ seat venues on their native soil at such venues as London’s O2 Arena, and that is when they aren’t headlining the likes of iconic music festivals including Reeding, Leads, and Glastonbury back in Great Britain.
There are clear reasons why Foals is either winning or consistently being nominated as one of the UK’s best live acts and their performance at the House of Blues in Boston recently provided irrefutable evidence as to why this condition actually exists.
The evening began with the band launching into regular set list opener “Prelude.” By the time they had finished the last note of Inhaler’s opening track, their New England fan base was already well beyond both mesmerized and caught up in the fury that is Foals live.
Although the band’s music on record can sometimes seem slow and even melancholy at times, in a live setting these themes are washed away completely as Foals plays with an immense ferocity that few bands in rock music today can match.
Philippakis is also an engaging frontman whose unique and haunting voice is matched by the energy and sheer intensity he puts on display when playing for a live audience. His chemistry and symbiosis with rhythm guitar player Jimmy Smith is impossible not to notice when the band’s up on stage as the two regularly seem to drive one another into a state of live music euphoria.
The pair, along with Walter Gervers (bass), Jack Bevan (drums) and Edwin Congreave (keys), ripped through a 15-song set list that included stand outs from What Went Down that included “Snake Oil,” “A Knife in the Ocean,” and “Mountain at My Gates.”
2008’s Antidotes was well represented on the evening as well with the band delivering inspiring takes on tracks like “Olympic Airwaves” and “Hummer.”
The only Foals studio effort to not get extended play on the night was 2010’s Total Life Forever, as only the sprawling and augural “Spanish Sierra” made an appearance.
By the time Foals launched into the final cuts of their performance, which included live stalwarts “Inhaler” and resplendent takes on the one-two punch of an encore “What Went Down” and set closer “Two Steps, Twice”, the audience of close to 2,500 was physically exhausted but from all appearances, ready for the band to play for another two or three hours.
You see, that’s the thing; Foals is engaging, beyond talented, and give what can only be described as surreal and genuinely honest live performances.
The band’s concerts not only allow their fans to easily connect with them, they forge a musical bond so endearing and true that it’s hard to imagine anything but Foals soaring to even greater heights as time move forward. Well played Foals. Well played.
Setlist: Prelude, Snake Oil, Olympic Airwaves, My Number, Hummer, Give it All, Mountain at My Gates, Providence, Spanish Sahara, Red Socks Pugie, Late Night, A Knife in the Ocean, Inhaler, What Went Down, Two Steps, Twice
Event Date: 01-Nov-2016