Foals – Commodore Ballroom – April 10, 2011
While they may be from Oxford, England, the bandmates in Foals couldn’t be further from the staid uniformed college life. These five floppy haired, shoe gazing, rock hellions have evolved from the first time they played Vancouver, then they seemed overjoyed but anxious to be playing in front of a paying audience. Fast forward to the present, they now seem more comfortable, like they’re still in their garage, playing for themselves, for the sheer enjoyment of the music. Whether the audience was there or not seemed incidental, they tore through each song with vigour. Some great, huge guitar riffs ran seamlessly from one song to the next, reminiscent of a 70’s psycadelic, prog-rock act. Judging by the stream of preppy college kids leaving the venue during the show this lack of audience interaction left some of the more casual fans out in the cold. However, the Foal’s true fans seemed to be going right along for the ride, bouncing and fist pumping to every beat. Occassionally, when lead singer Yannis Philippakis would look up to make the odd comment to the crowd it reaffirmed their love for the band. As the set drew closer to the end, as though reading a “how to be a rock star” book, antics continued with mic stands kicked over, Yannis climbing the speaker tower, guitars being smacked against whatever was nearby, drumsticks thrown at the crowd but beneath all these showy antics was some damn fine tunes. If Foals can find a balance between the two aspects they just might be a truly great band. Let’s see what the future holds.