Toronto – I should make a rule – never see a band on the second show of the same tour, especially when it’s a larger venue and the first show was fantastic. Foals – Oxford’s favorite math-indie-dance rock outfit was back in Toronto on Saturday seven months after their blistering performance at Lee’s Palace in September. Since that fateful day, the band has seen their popularity steadily increase to the point where they were playing a sold out Phoenix.
Playing once again with what appears to be the world’s biggest chip on their shoulder, Yannis Philippakis and company took the stage shortly after 11 and delivered a blistering set that hit the crowd with a fistful of intensity. I don’t know what it is about them, but they never seem to be happy. It translates well into the music which is heavy on percussions and moves along at a frenetic pace. Songs like Miami, Black Gold and Total Life Forever whipped the crowd into a jumping frenzy. Only the opening sombre notes of Spanish Sahara settled the crowd a bit before the eventual tempo change set them loose once again. Yannis, for the most part, matched the crowd’s energy level, at one point playing the guitar while crowd surfing. I was particularly impressed when he did a running jump into the crowd, getting quite the air time and clearing a good few rows of people.He would then wander around the Phoenix, including a trip up into the balcony.
On paper, it was a great show, but for me, something was missing. Maybe it was the thrill of seeing them for the first time. Maybe it was the much larger and less intimate venue. Either way, Foals are pretty exceptional live – providing an endless, relentless jolt of energy into the jubilant Toronto crowd before setting them loose into the night.
Total Life Forever
Red Socks Pugie
One (Swedish House Mafia cover)
The French Open
Two Steps, Twice