Fleet Foxes made its return last year with the release and subsequent tour for Crack-Up (Nonesuch Records). The record is filled with the same self-reflective lyrics, swelling music, and gorgeous harmonies as the band’s previous two records, but it seems like a more focused record. After six years between Helplessness Blues and the new LP, it’s a refreshed welcome home for this band whose debut album turns 10 years old as of this writing.
The band — Robin Pecknold (vocals/guitar), Christian Wargo (bass/vocals), Skyler Skjelset (guitar/vocals), Casey Wescott (keyboards/guitar/vocals), Morgan Henderson (flute/horns/strings/guitar/vocals), and Matt Barrick (formerly of The Walkmen on drums) — has been touring extensively since last year, and stopped in DC on Friday for a packed show at The Anthem.
Starting off their set with the closing track off Helplessness Blues, “Grown Ocean,” they slid right into the acapella intro to Arroyo Seco. Looking refreshed and very focused, this Fleet Foxes played a perfect set of finely crafted arrangements that filled the massive club. Robin and company played older songs like “Drops in the River” from their Sun Giant EP as well as fan-favorites such as “White Winter Hymnal” and “Blue Ridge Mountains.”
Toward the end of their set, all the band members save Robin left the stage as the frontman, armed with an acoustic guitar, sang “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” and “Oliver James” (both from Fleet Foxes’ debut album). Afterward, the rest of the band returned with Morgan changing to cello to play “Third of May.”
The Anthem has great acoustics, and the sound was clear at any place you went throughout the venue. The brilliant harmonies and rich instrumentation of Fleet Foxes was clear and powerful. From all perspectives, this was a great show with Fleet Foxes playing all your favorites.
The set list included:
Drops in the River
White Winter Hymnal
On Another Ocean
He Doesn’t Know Why
Tiger Mountain Peasant Song (Robin solo)
Oliver James (Robin solo)
Third of May
The Shrine / An Argument
Blue Ridge Mountains
Fleet Foxes continue their tour through May and then it’s off to Europe. Definitely catch them here! And here are some pictures of Fleet Foxes performing at The Anthem on May 18, 2018. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.