On a crisp Saturday night, the Crystal Ballroom welcomed back English band Foals for a rambunctious night of music. The band entered the stage to a thunderous crowd and slowly sounded off their instruments as they more than appropriately began to open with “Prelude.” When frontman Yannis Philippakis played the first chord of his guitar he immediately pointed his finger up for the volume to be raised. His stoic face showed he was serious about giving everyone in the room a night to remember.
Yannis took advantage of the established Ballroom barricade that splits the crowd in the middle by walking all the way down and swiping his hands across those of who reached out towards him.
When he returned to the stage he roared into the microphone and the rest of the band collided with force as they segued into the upbeat “Snake Oil.” There were multiple moments in which Yannis yelled to the crowd “Saturday night!” He was no doubt challenging and urging the crowd to go mad on an unrestrained weekend evening. The crowd and the band fed off each other’s energy during “Olympic Airwaves” as each member yelled “Dis-a-ppe-ar” while Yannis earnestly pumped his fist in the air, the crowd responding with the same motion. The room was especially charged when Foals played fan favorites “My Number” and “Mountain At My Gates.” It was clear everyone knew every word to these radio heavy songs. A rare gentle moment came during the night when the band played “Spanish Sahara.” The crowd stared in wonderment as lights shown down on the band’s intricate instrumentation. Before the band went into What Went Down’s closing number “A Knife In the Ocean,” Yannis revealed to the audience that it had slowly become one of their favorites to play live.
After the band left the stage, they came back for one of the most raucous encores any live band is currently doing. “What Went Down” was loud and vigorous. It’s peak moment came when Yannis grabbed his mic and sang while leaning over the crowd then lunging himself into their arms. He finished the song while surfing atop boisterous hands. The band then ended the riotous show with a rambunctious extended version of “Two Steps, Twice.”
After each member left the stage, guitarist Jimmy Smith stayed behind to hover his Surf Green guitar over the crowd, teasing them as they tried grasping for it. Soon he let the crowd have at it and satisfyingly walked off stage.
Foals tapped into all four of their full length albums, making sure they had something for every era of fan. They’ve proven to be one of the best live touring bands around and have shown no signs of slowing down.