No matter what kind of fan you consider yourself as, whether than be a casual one or the most devout, there’s no denying that Foals are one of the best live bands in modern music. They possess a certain je ne sais quoi that most other bands are left able to only dream about, and it becomes more than apparent when catching one of Foals’ critically-acclaimed, energetic live shows.
Their 2017 UK exclusive, Foals made their appearance by closing the main stage at Citadel Festival in Victoria Park this weekend. In the lead up to the show the band promised older favourites and even some tracks they hadn’t played live in the UK before, which had fans jumping at the bit to get tickets for the somewhat bourgeois festival in East London. Among the yoga tents and craft beer bars lay the substantially large main stage, all ready for Foals as they made their spectacular entrance.
Lead singer Yannis Philippakis wasted no time in asserting his control over the crowd before him, causing absolute chaos on stage as the band began with ‘Mountain at My Gates’. This was not the only offering from the band’s latest album What Went Down, as the set went on to include the titular track, ‘A Knife In the Ocean’, ‘Night Swimmers’ and ‘Snake Oil’. It is interesting enough to see how Foals have developed in their twelve year long career, especially since they also offered up five tracks from their debut record Antidotes, which gave plenty of room for comparison.
It was in fact their powerful rendition of ‘Black Gold’ from second album Total Life Forever that had festival goers the most heated, a longtime fan favourite that hasn’t seen much of the light of day. Between songs Philippakis told the crowd, “it’s good to be home,” cementing the fact that no matter how far Foals travel, the UK will always welcome them back with open arms and devotion to their art— which is something, evidently, they appreciate more than anything.
This carefully balanced performance of tender moments and intense cuts was truly Foals at their very best. If ever there was a band more deserving of such an energetic reception from their fans, it’s these guys— they’ve proved it time and time again with their slick and professional yet somehow still raucous performances. They’ve churned out co-headline sets at Reading & Leeds, but now Foals have proved that their time has come to hit the big leagues. This year, Citadel… in five years, Glastonbury?