Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Tell me anything you want, any old lie will do..."

On Sunday October 12th I went to the Metro to see Seattle based band, Fleet Foxes Since I didn’t see much of their set at Pitchfork, I was super excited to see their show. Also since the summer I had gotten their debut album, Fleet Foxes, and became obsessed. It is the perfect album for this fall-wintery weather. It just makes you want to sit on the couch with a warm beverage under a comfy blanket in front of a fireplace. It is such a great album, and will definitely be in my best of 2008 list.

The opening act was a guy named Frank Fairfield. He is like a more old timey Andrew Bird. It was just him and his guitar and banjo. I wasn’t blown away by his performance, but it was not something you see everyday. Watching him you felt as if it were 1932 and you are sitting on a porch somewhere in rural Kentucky. He also dressed and looked the part.

After Frank left the stage it took only a split second to turn the stage over and then the Fleet Foxes came on. Hooray! Since only having one album and EP, there weren’t a ton of surprises. The set list was pretty similar (some songs were in a different order) as when they played the Black Cat in DC. You can listen to the show here: Thanks NPR!

They played “Sun Giant,” “Mykonos,” and “English House” from their Sun Giant EP. Then they played pretty much everything from Fleet Foxes, there were a few omissions though. I think the highlight for me was when they played my three favorite songs (“White Winter Hymnal,” “Ragged Wood,” and “Your Protector”) back to back and it just flowed. It was brilliant. Someone actually got “White Winter Hymnal” and part of “Ragged Wood” recorded:

Since there were only a handful of songs to be played and most clock in at about 3 ½ minutes, there was a lot of time for banter. Now I love it when artists talk during the show to better connect with the audience. But it has to be brief, and then back to the music. Lead singer and guitarist, Robin Pecknold, was somewhat distracted anytime anyone shouted something. He and the rest of the band are charming enough that you found them endearing, but sometimes it went on too long for my taste. An example, and although it was funny, was when Robin asked if Barack would be a good president (the show was pre-election). The crowd cheered and then someone shouted, “Better than McCain.” Then Robin was like “Yeah and Sarah Palin.” Then he said that a potato would be better than Palin. We all had a chuckle. Then he also went on and said, “Oh I’m sure Barack would be a good president. He’s done a lot for your state and for corn.” Then someone yelled “Corn is better than McCain” and someone else yelled “Corn for President!” Robin then said “Really? You would rather have corn as a president over McCain?” The crowd cheered and laughed. He then went on and said, “That would be funny to have a bowl of corn leading us.” And it would be if you think about it. Then Robin went on a tangent and said, “Not many songs written about corn.” Someone in the audience yelled “Jimmy Crack Corn.” And he said something about that song. Then various songs were mentioned from the band and the audience. Then the keyboardist said, “What about that song from Pocahontas? Then Robin started singing, “Have you ever seen the wolf cry to the blue corn moon?” and the crowd went nuts. That then led to a brief conversation on the film’s historical accuracy and then some banter about Disney films and how Robin said after Mulan he lost interest. Then they started playing a song.

Robin also drank a lot of water during the set. Either he was dehydrated or hung over, maybe both? But there were moments where I was like, “Is he done drinking yet?” Just a random observation.

New song, “Silver City” (and you can hear some of their “what we ate for dinner” banter at the beginning):

I really enjoyed Fleet Foxes, random banter and all. They put on a good show and I look forward to seeing them again next time they come to town. Hopefully though they will go home after the European leg of their tour, relax, and get started on a new album.


P.S. Official videos!

“He Doesn’t Know Why”

“White Winter Hymnal”

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