w/ Bear Hands, Kiev
The Fox Theater
September 26, 2016
Indie-rock has always been that one genre of rock I'm always hesitant to go towards because, simply put, I feel like it's not "rock". It has its roots, sure, but the energy is generally very absent. Every band on this bill gave me faith in the genre, kept me entertained throughout the duration of the show, and proved that you can create meaningful, moving indie-rock songs that can have a barricade slamming up and down on the ground with fans screaming their hearts out on the other side of it. I'm not kidding when I say this. Foals, Bear Hands, and Kiev brought a thrilling show to The Fox Theater this past Monday.
Kiev was the first group to take the stage. They were by far the calmer of the three artists, but their show made the crowd feel very close. "From touring with Foals, we've learned that their crowds are very open to music. So would you guys mind if we played another long, experimental one?" The crowd cheered and the band launched straight into another song, but they showcased a genuine excitement when performing. You don't always see that with the first opening band on a lineup. Various instruments were used throughout their set, including saxophone, electronics, guitars, and synth.
The second act, Bear Hands, were one of the biggest hits of the entire show. Alternative rock pulses through their veins and is the heart and soul of their sound. This is a band that was able to hit the stage with such confidence and excitement in a performance that I've never previously witnessed at a show showcasing this kind of genre. Subtle hints of indie-rock were present in their music, but they fall far more into alternative rock territory. They play hard, and with a great deal of passion. I had a chance to interview their vocalist, Dylan Rau, before the show came through town, and he mentioned that he is ten years invested in the band. Based on the confidence the band exuded during their performance, I would believe it. (P.S., maybe you can check out what I mean by picking up a copy of their record, You'll Pay For This. Hint, hint...)
The lineup for this tour was perfectly executed, in the sense that the energy builds in just the right way. You start off with Kiev to get warmed up, Bear Hands increases the energy just enough, and then Foals takes over and brings the highest level of energy possible. To this day, I've never seen a crowd react to a band like Foals at a show of this nature like I did on Monday. As a photographer, we were allowed into the photo pit for the last three songs (instead of the usual first three), and the barricade was slamming against the floor the entire time. The crowd behind me was ravenous and screaming back every single word.
And for a show that was in such a big venue, Foals made sure that people were given their money's worth. A couple members of the band, particularly their vocalist, would jump into the crowd, run through the pit with their instruments, and even stage dive. Pair that fan connection with the music, and it really felt like a rock and roll show.
This particular tours runs through November. If you have an opportunity to check it out, don't sleep on it. Go.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.