By Kenneth Cox
You’d be hard pressed to find any palm trees sprouting up around Boston. However, this past Friday at the House of Blues, the stage was surrounded by palm trees as audiences came to see the UK rock band Foals. The 6-piece group, fronted by Yannis Philippakis, is currently in the middle of a world tour in support of their latest LP, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1.
The House of Blues floor quickly became packed after the doors opened.
Longtime followers of the band, new fans, teenagers, adults, — anyone that you could think of was at the Foals show. I myself met with some fellow Emersonians at the show, who told me to expect an amazing show. By the time the night ended, I found out that was absolutely the case.
Photography by Alex Knowles
As 9:45 rolled around, chants broke across the House of Blues: “Foals! Foals! Foals!”
Finally, it was time for the headlining act to take the stage. Kicking off the set with their song “On the Luna”, the House of Blues floor became an all-out frenzy of dancing and singing along. Not a single fan wasn’t shouting the lyrics to their favorites or jumping around to the music. As the night went on, they played songs from across their almost ten-year career. Songs like “My Number” united fans together in an unabashed celebration of their music. It was an infectious energy that spread across the venue, which only grew as the night went along.
Perhaps the most energetic person at the Foals show was Yannis Philippakis himself.
As frontman of the band, Philippakis performed with an intensity and verve that few other artists I’ve seen can pull off. With every song, he made sure his audience felt the full emotional impact of every song the band performed. As well, Philippakis made the audience part of the show, leaving the stage to enter the crowd multiple times. During what was perhaps the most intense moment of the night, Philippakis jumped from the mezzanine to the floor, being caught by fans below, and crowd surfed his way back to the stage. “Boston, I think I’m in f-----g love with you”, said Philippakis in a break between songs. The audience clearly felt the same way.
Foals capped their show with an encore for the ages.
After a change in backdrop mid-song, the band ended with two of their loudest, most forceful fan favorites: “What Went Down” and “Two Steps, Twice”. Throughout these songs, mosh pits broke out, audience members crowd surfed in droves, and Foals blew the roof off of the venue. By the end of the two songs, there was not a single person that wasn’t having the time of their life.
As I got on the green line back to campus, Foals fans packed Kenmore station. Everyone looked exhausted and worn out by the show, but were buzzing about how much they had enjoyed their night. After Foals’ incredible performance, I understood why the band had amassed such a dedicated fanbase over the years.
On top of Foals, openers Omni and Preoccupations got the show started.
Omni, a three-person band from Atlanta, kicked off the night with a burst of energy. Their jagged, funky sound kept the audience bobbing their heads and grooving along. Tracks like “Equestrian” had a throwback post-punk sound akin to bands like Devo and Gang of Four. Second opener Preoccupations combined noise rock with complex rhythms and arrangements. Their set closed with “March of Progress”, a six-minute track that took the musical abilities of the band to their fullest extent.