“This is our first real show in a long while,” said Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, to applause from the reverent gathered. And indeed, it’s nice to have the beardy, backcountry and beautiful harmonies on live stages again. No question…the assembled voices, the stand-up bass, the layers of acousticky geetar, all great. The quiet bits of the Fleet Foxes sound pristine and the rocking bits of the Fleet Foxes sound enormous. “Battery Kinzie” from new album Helplessness Blues (out May 3rd on SubPop), sounded the most familiar, as if it was plucked straight from the debut, while “Grown Ocean” swelled and “Mykonos” elicited massive cheers from those who’ve yet to hear the new stuff.
And who knew they were funny? Pecknold mumbled something about struggling with his 12-string guitar, to which drummer J. Tillman quipped, “And yet…I can only have one bass drum….God, you and your multiple strings…” The band laughed, relaxed a bit, eased into their cardigans and rolled-sleeved shirts. Even took off their toques. “Ha, yeah,” Pecknold shot back, “Do you want 12 bass drums? Like, a quantum drum kit?” It was a nice moment, for the Foxes and for us too. So, yeah, welcome back, lads. Sounding good. \m/
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