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Live Review + Gallery: Fleet Foxes

Artpark / Lewiston, NY

LIVE REVIEW + GALLERY: FLEET FOXES (ARTPARK / LEWISTON, NY)
July 30, 2018 Jackson Fleming

When thinking of bands in terms of their artistic approach to their craft and how they are able to hone their skills, very few folk bands compare to that of Fleet Foxes. The six piece baroque-pop act hails from Seattle, and have been working at their sound ever since they first formed back in 2006. High school friends Robin Pecknold (lead vocals/guitar) and Skyler Skjelset (guitar/vocals) added more talented musicians to their ranks as the years went by such as Casey Wescott (keys/vocals/mandolin), Christian Wargo (bass/vocals), and Nicholas Peterson (percussion). Two years after their formation, Fleet Foxes released their debut EP, Sun Giant. This was met with both critical and commercial success, including Pitchfork naming it their #1 album of the year. Following Sun Giant, Fleet Foxes went on to release two full length albums in 2008 and 2011, one of which (Helplessness Blues) would go on to be nominated for a grammy for “Best New Folk Album”. After riding high on the folk rock charts for quite some time, the band decided to take a break from making music. This six year hiatus proved to be quite fruitful, as Fleet Foxes went on to put out their third studio LP late last year, Crack-up. Every album Fleet Foxes churns out seems to shroud the band in even greater artistic triumphs, including Pecknold’s lyricism.

At their last stop on their current headlining tour across North America, Fleet Foxes played one of the more genuine and earnest shows Artpark has seen in quite some time. Their hour and thirty minute set was jam-packed with favorites from their entire discography. It was not the least bit surprising to see just how warm and rich Pecknold and company were when playing to the packed Lewiston crowd. The way all five members were able to harmonize and play their instruments so well was a true mark on their ability as both performers and musicians. Their final U.S. show of their 2018 touring run was perfectly placed in terms of location. The scenic sunset in the background, which made the mountains surrounding the outdoor amphitheater glow bright, truly felt atmospheric in the sense that nature is another big influence on Fleet Foxes’s sound. Although their tunes may be slow considering they are on the more technical side of folk, the infectious dancing of the crowd seemed to spur the guys on. Closing out the night with “Oliver James” and “Helplessness Blues”, Fleet Foxes seemed to appreciate the attentiveness of the crowd throughout the night. It was quite obvious that many devoted fans where part of the crowd. As the night came to it’s conclusion and the sun had set, Fleet Foxes warmed the masses with their heartfelt and technically sound performance which left many deeply satisfied.