PARIS, FRANCE | There’s something incredibly unique about Foals. If you ask one hundred different people how to describe their music, you’ll get 100 different answers. How many bands can say that—in a good way that is? I’ve seen these guys live three times now and this is the best they’ve ever been—one thousand fucking percent. Maybe it’s the intimacy of the venue? Perhaps the fact that the buzz on these guys never seems to die? Or maybe it’s just that from start to finish the band delivers a punch to the gut that channels perfectly into controlled chaos.
Foals have figured out a way to masterfully combine the best of synth pop, new wave, and post-punk into a universally appealing sound. Back that up with a cutting edge light show and a frontman who spends an equal amount of time crowd surfing and diving off balconies than he does actually on stage singing, and you have arguably the hottest band in the UK.
Touring in support of part one of their hotly anticipated fifth and sixth studio albums, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 and Part 2 (Part 1 was released in March while the latter will release in September) Foals played a more intimate venue than what most fans are used to.
These guys also have a different rule for photographers. While the industry standard for almost every show is the first three songs, no flash, Foals break the trend by only allowing photographers to shoot during the last three songs. (The most accepted reason being that musicians look their best during the first three songs, although there’s also a story that Springsteen came up with the rule in the ’70s because the photographers were becoming increasingly distracting.)
The setlist that night would pull heaviest from the latest album, opening up with “On the Luna,” straight into “Mountain at My Gates” and “Snake Oil.” But the real treat came during the end of the set—the encore of “What Went Down” is one of the heaviest things I’ve ever seen live. Yannis Philippakis is notorious for jumping into the crowd, but this night he would take it up a notch by pulling a full-on Eddie Vedder “Even Flow” balcony dive. This is truly one of those reviews where the pictures can tell a much better story than the text.
All in all, it was a brilliant show and I would 100% go see the band once again here in London if the opportunity arises, but unfortunately the Ally Pally is completely sold out. But don’t fret, with a second record dropping later this year I’m sure we’ll get plenty more chances to see Foals in the future.
On a personal note, this was my first time to the Bataclan. While it’s hard not to think about the tragedy that occurred with the terrorist attacks, it was inspiring to see that music has prevailed over fear. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like to have been there, but I just wanted to show my support. The energy in the sold-out venue sent a message, as I’m sure it does with each passing show. If you get a chance to see a show at here, by all means do so.