The band graced the stage at the Hollywood Palladium Tuesday evening, performing a lively and unforgettable show. With sounds very similar to the Arctic Monkeys, The Wombats and Arcade Fire, Foals fits perfectly into the alternative rock scene that has built many successful band careers. Kiev, a dreamy indie rock band from Orange County, and Bear Hands, a post-punk indie band from Brooklyn, performed opening acts prior to the concert.
The five-person band began in 2005 after their respective bands broke up, with lead vocalist and guitarist Yannis Philippakis and drummer Jack Bevan coming from the math rock group The Edmund Fitzgerald, guitarist Walter Gervers and bassist Jimmy Smith coming from the group Face Meets Grill, and the addition of keyboard player Edwin Congreave.
Since its inception, Foals has released four albums, including Antidotes in 2008, Total Life Forever in 2010, Holy Fire in 2013, and its most recent album What Went Down in 2015, which contains the hit song “Mountain at My Gates.”
As Foals emerged onstage they started the night with an instrumental introduction, tantalizing the audience and building the energy as they soon transitioned into a rock-and-roll interlude. Heavy drums and bass filled the room, with colorful strobe lights flashing to every drum beat, getting the crowd jumping around with excitement.
The energy kept expanding as the band played “Olympic Airways” from their first album, causing the audience to clap along to the dreamy guitar riffs and sing every word. This then merged into the bassline of the groovy hit, “My Number.” If fans weren’t singing along before, they certainly were during “My Number,” chanting back the “ohs” to each chorus and dancing along to the infectious bass line. Frontman Yannis Philippakis worked the crowd with his stellar rock and roll moves and crazy guitar solos.
“Nothing in my domestic sphere, my normal sphere, exists any more [during a performance],” Philippakis said in an interview with the Guardian. “But it’s definitely something I know is there — it’s not something I’ve invited in. It’s not role play, it’s from within me.”
Philippakis’ sincerity resonated, especially during slower songs like “A Knife In The Ocean,” where stunning lighting and carefully crafted melodies helped the audience connect to the band’s vulnerability.
Overall spirits remained at a high throughout the night, with the band jamming out together and dominating the stage. Yet, the night could not be complete without Philippakis’ signature stage dive into the audience during the band’s encore performance. The band’s contagious energy seeped into the audience, even inspiring a fan to follow the frontman’s lead and crowd surf, ultimately ending the night with a bang.