Photos by: Charlie Homo
Tuesday night at the Fillmore, Fleet Foxes leadman Robin Pecknold constantly insinuated the band’s interest in moving to what he called “the place he thinks of when it comes to a West Coast sound,” yes, our own beloved city.
The first of three shows they’re playing in the Bay (including this past Wednesday night with Vetiver at the Palace of Fine Arts and next Tuesday at Oakland’s Fox Theatre again with Blitzen Trapper), Fleet Foxes were warmly received. And actually, the Foxes played astoundingly great if not better than their highly acclaimed previous performance in these parts (Treasure Island 2008).
Despite a casual stage presence, constantly tuning and chit-chatting with audience members, the set was practically seamless with transitions from song to song. Opening with an introduction is a timeless and classy move — and last evening they did a beautiful rendition of “Sun Giant” to lead into “Sun It Will Rise.” The venue was silenced by the band’s nearly acapella moments, which stagger above their momentarily hushed instruments — so quiet in the place that Robin’s single fist knocking on wood was clearly audible, keeping time.
New songs Robin’s been “dicking around with” were impressive and textured, stepping up and down the ladder of his vocal ability. At a point in the set he was left onstage to perform a Duncan Brown song; next he abandoned amplification, stood off the very edge and belted out “Katie Cruel.” The night ended with a jokingly “alienating new song,” then “Blue Ridge Mountains,” joined by Blitzen Trapper helping out on percussion.
Maybe it’s the menu at Herbivore that sold the band on San Francisco, or that they’ve got buddies here already: The Dodos, who Robin mentioned is currently recording in Seattle. Regardless, who wouldn’t love another solid addition to our local arts community, albeit some woodsy, harmonious fellows? Fingers are crossed, Fleet Foxes.