“You put the snake oil under my tongue, show me the door, the way to be free. Cause you know the moves that only you do make fools of a boy like me.” ~ Snake Oil
For awhile now Foals has been in heavy rotation on my playlists. They were at the Shaky Knees fest in Atlanta last weekend. Of all the bands I saw, Foals played the best show. No one else even came close. They played with unmitigated ferocity. It was intense – the musical version of an exhausting, satisfying sexual experience with a conscientious, confident lover.
Foals cranked up with Snake Oil. Listen to this. Now, imagine it with a full band of skilled musicians in tight synchrony. A wall of sound hit us and I could feel the bass notes reverberating through my chest.
Yannis Philippakis’ voice has gorgeous tone, and with the echo effects Foals uses, it somehow manages to be simultaneously sharp and diffuse – like ink dripping into water.
Not to mention that he plays his guitar like a man on fire. Actually, all of the band members play that way and the resulting synergy is dazzling.
Foals spent themselves and the enthusiastic, sweaty audience loved every minute of it, belting lyrics and greedily roaring for more. I was completely enthralled by the band and everyone around me who was soaking in and boosting up the energy of this shared experience until it had a life of its own.
I know, it sounds a little ridiculous the way I’m describing this. You probably had to be there. Maybe the fact that Foals came on just as the sun went down after a hot afternoon of day drinking had something to do with the fervor of the crowd, but Jesus, I haven’t experienced a show like that in a long time.
Just to give you get a sense of what I’m talking about, check out this clip of Foals doing Providence at the Royal Albert Hall. There’s a bit of commentary up until about 1:30, but even that hits home in a delicious way if you love live shows. I suggest you put on headphones and turn this up loud because that’s what it was like last Saturday night, with the bonus of being outdoors on a perfect spring evening.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/106045252″>Foals – Providence (Live At The Royal Albert Hall)</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/yori”>Yori</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Here are a few more of my favorites.
What Went Down
A little crowd surfing topped off the show, and that was that. When it was over my friend, Shannon, turned to me with clenched fists and loudly growled “Oh, my God! That was amazing.” “I know.” I said “I feel like I need a cigarette now.”
How good was the show? It made me feel 19 again, and that’s a feeling I’ll take anytime I can get it.