Short King Spring is officially in full swing, as exemplified by Foals front-man and true pocket rocket, Yannis Philippakis, who gave an absolutely cracking performance in Brighton on the 27th of April. Yannis’ distinctive voice really was a treat for the ears, and I got the sense that there was nowhere else in the world he’d rather have been than onstage.
The audience enjoyed a grungy performance by opening act Goat Girl before FOALS dived straight into their first song Wake Me Up – a new release from their upcoming album ‘Life is Yours’. Next up we got a few of their classic hits, including The Runner and My Number which went down a treat. It’s safe to say that the band did a fantastic job on stage, with Yannis regularly running up and down the stage stairs into the audience, and drummer Jack Bevan stood on top of his stool, wielding his drumsticks for all to see.
One of the highlights of this performance was the fantastic stage production and visual effects that we got to enjoy. The band had two different setups for their performance and both were equally magnetic. To begin with, there were two 10m long plank shaped screens that sat above and below the stage – giving the effect that we were watching FOALS on the TV. These screens were covered with sound waves and bright colours which was reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys’ 2013 album cover ‘AM’. Then in the latter part of the show, the band opted for a square screen with flashing visuals behind them – which, rather unfortunately, was reminiscent of the 1975’s self-titled debut album art, also from 2013.
Perhaps the most peculiar observations I made at this gig were the characteristics of the audience. I attended the concert with my 18 year old brother – who was about 15 years younger than the average audience member. I was fairly surprised by this, given that I’ve been listening to FOALS since my early teens, but it does make sense that those in attendance would have been university students when FOALS began releasing music in 2008. However, for some unfortunate reason, the large millennial fanbase weren’t keen on dancing to the hits from their golden days at university. Despite the band’s best efforts, 90% of the audience spent the first half of the gig standing completely still, while the remaining 10% (people under the age of 24) madly jumped about, desperately hoping for someone else to join in. I was definitely surprised given that it was a rock concert!
Nevertheless, you could tell how chuffed FOALS were to be performing for the first time since the pandemic began and they gave a stellar performance indeed. The best part of the night was when the band came back onstage and gave an encore of three classic songs – Black Bull, What Went Down and Two Steps. During What Went Down, Yannis stood right in front of the audience after jumping off stage!
FOALS gave a fantastic performance… it really was a night to remember! Be sure to get tickets to their next tour after the new album comes out on the 17th of June 2022, and join Gen-Z in the fight to teach older millennials that it’s okay to dance at gigs!