When British indie rock band Foals came to town Dec. 19, I was expecting a smaller, older crowd since most college kids skipped town to forcibly spend time with their loved ones. Nonetheless, I was proven wrong at the sold-out Union Transfer for the final show of their 2015 North American tour.
10-year-old Foals first came onto the scene in 2007 when they released their debut album “Antidotes.” Despite being recorded in New York, “Antidotes” saw little U.S. success but ranked No. 3 on the U.K. Album Charts. In 2009, Foals began recording their second album, “Total Life Forever,” which featured their breakout hit, “Spanish Sahara.” That track put Foals on the map and welcomed follow-up records “Holy Fire” in 2012 and “What Went Down” in August 2015.
The energy started building with an opening performance from fellow British indie rock band Circa Waves. Their punkish, hipster tunes were both catchy and danceable (and their lead singer looked freakishly similar to Billie Joe Armstrong).
After a short break, members of Foals started taking the stage one by one with the crowd going equally nuts for each of the five guys. Starting with, “My Number,” the veteran performers showed incredible synchronization without a single mishap throughout their set. Jumping right into their second song and one of my favorites, “Inhaler,” lead singer Yannis Philippakis spiced up his falsetto with some belted and scraggly screaming. As the show continued, the band’s intensity remained high as they performed a good mix of new, old and unknown tracks.
For those who are familiar with Union Transfer, you know they have balcony seating for the lazier and less engaged bunch. Despite this, nearly everyone was standing throughout the night—I’ve never been to a show with this much energy. Philippakis must have been into it too, jumping into the crowd during the long interlude of “Electric Bloom,” or maybe everyone in this band is completely crazy. Who knows? But they put on a hell of a show.
With over 250 shows on the books in the past three years alone, Foals seems to never take breaks or run out of energy. If you missed this one, I highly recommend keeping a lookout for when they come back.