In a music landscape dominated by the likes of pop stars, Instagram models and rappers who got their start on Soundcloud, there remains a special quality about the folk music of the Fleet Foxes that can’t quite be captured in easily digestible bits that we are so accustomed to in 2017. It’s almost like a hark back to the times before streaming, where you would take a trip to Cheapo Records to get the whole LP on a CD, and listen to it front to back. The Fleet Foxes tell stories throughout their albums; stories that don’t let go and keep you enveloped to the very end.
Hailing from the Seattle, Washington area, Fleet Foxes formed in 2005 when the frontman Robin Pecknold met Skyler Skjelset in High School, and within a year they released their first EP which caught the attention of local music fans and critics. After that, they began work on their first album which was recorded in various basements, apartments, and homes throughout the Seattle area. After just two years post-formation, the band’s popularity exploded with the release of their second EP “Sun Giant” and their first album “Fleet Foxes.” The band was praised by fans and critics alike praising their unique folk style that was reflected in both their shows and studio work.
Like their albums, a Fleet Foxes show is an experience meant to be taken in as a whole and their sold-out weekend doubleheader was no different. In their first shows in the Twin Cities in over six years, the band drew on music from their entire discography. This ranged from the flowing melodies from their eponymous first album to the much more experimental & personal Crack-Up, their first release since their six-year hiatus. Their music pulled in the crowd and didn’t let go. They were joined by Canadian indie rock back “Nap Eyes.”
The show on Sunday night at the Palace Theatre seamlessly flowed from one song to the next. Ranging from a powerful and hard-hitting rendition of “Blue Ridge Mountains” which featured the entire band, with a backdrop of a violent thunderstorm overlaid atop their set, to an encore that featured a three-song acoustic set by Robin Pecknold that included the final track of the Fleet Foxes LP “Oliver James” and a special acoustic rendition of “Montezuma.” The band also drew on some of their most well-known and beloved tracks such as “Mykonos,” “Ragged Wood” and “White Winter Hymnal,” and blended them in with tracks from their post-hiatus album Crack-Up.
The two-hour set felt like it was gone in an instant. But for those two hours, Fleet Foxes captured the hearts of the sold-out show both during and in-between songs. Shouts of praise and jokes from the crowd rang through the venue after songs, and frontman Robin Pecknold responded with a tone that almost seemed like it was a smaller venue.
The Fleet Foxes absolutely delivered in their return to the Twin Cities. Their dulcet, captivating lyrics & melodies mesmerized the audience from start to finish. A Fleet Foxes show is a must-attend experience for anyone looking for a night that is not only fun but also deeply resonates in the soul.