Fleet Foxes at the Orpheum, 5/17

66% of the M&T crew were fortunate enough to experience Robin Pecknold and his merry band of gentlemen aka Fleet Foxes. The show left every soul in attendance at the Orpheum in awe, but with no lack of applause. Our takes:

Eric- I would say that the highlight for me was when the crowd erupted with a raucous cheer right before “The Shrine/An Argument.” It was definitely the best crowd that I have been a part of in the many shows that I have seen at the Orpheum. It might have been the fact that Fleet Foxes haven’t come to Boston in quite a while or that their beautiful harmonies made the everyone feel like they had finally made it to heaven, but whatever it was the crowd loved it and Robin Pecknold was visibly awestruck by the admiration and appreciation that came from everyone in attendance.

Trevor- Now I’m not saying they’re Milli Vanilli, but Fleet Foxes almost sounded TOO perfect. I don’t think I have ever seen a performance where the crowd would be stunned into silence due to the delicateness and angelic stylings of a band before. While there tended to be a consistent period of silence before each song as Robin Pecknold tuned his guitar to perfection, it wasn’t painful as it was an addition to the experience. (This wasn’t as much a concert as it was a sermon.) The crowd ranged across the board in age which speaks to the power Fleet Foxes evokes in their works. I personally brought my mom knowing how much she loves their music. I think she summed the show up best when she told me after “I was moved to tears when they harmonized.” I was standing next to her during the show and trust me; she was literally crying.

Caroline- Seeing Fleet Foxes in concert is intimate and distancing, all at the same time. Their set was concise, as it whipped through about 19 tracks in a little under two hours. Pecknold and company rarely stopped to speak, only just to make small but sweet comments, or to respond to the accolades and hilarious one-liners from the crowd. The band’s lack of commentary kept the audience at an arm’s length. I left having little more insight about the album or the band than I came with. I expected to hear at least one or two stories of inspiration about the new Helplessness Blues tracks, and was disappointed. However, this distance was what enabled Fleet Foxes to provide a particular, unique intimacy. Within the Orpheum Theatre, through their perfected harmonies and richly-woven melodies, Fleet Foxes took its audience to another time and place. The band didn’t allow comments or stories to muddle meanings. The music spoke for itself. I realized the transporting nature of their music specifically during “Battery Kinzie,” as Pecknold crooned, “I came to your window/ Threw a stone, and waited.” Upon hearing his depiction of an Americana Romeo & Juliet, I found myself wanting to crush the Blackberry I was desperately clutching onto. The simple world created by Fleet Foxes takes the audience to a place far from reality, a place where love letters and pebble-throwing reign king over texting on smartphones. They are so convincing in creating this world and projecting it in concert that we forget that the band itself is part of our tech-savvy, materialistic culture. The band unglamorously rides a tour bus together; Robin Pecknold follows the new television series The Killing. They even update their Twitter daily. Ironically enough, just minutes after finishing their ethereal set, they took to the Twitterverse to send a thank you to the crowd (“Not sure why we got such sweet attendees”). So yes, Fleet Foxes’ commentary-less set kept the audience at a distance. But that distance enabled us all to forget reality, technology and Angry Birds for a few sweet hours.

Not the best video, but here’s a taste of what Fleet Foxes brought with the sweeping “Blue Ridge Mountains”

Posted on by Eric in Concert Review

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