“Hello Philadelphia, it’s been a while,” Foals’ frontman shouted out to the crowd who was in attendance at the Union Transfer December 19th. “Are you ready to fucking rock?”
And the crowd certainly was.
The last time Foals played a show in the City of Brotherly Love was in 2011 at the TLA and before that, in 2008 at Johnny Brenda’s. It’s baffling to picture the Oxford playing a show at a small bar after the show I watched them play last night.
Philadelphia was their last U.S. date so I knew the show was going to be insane, and after seeing them two years ago in New York City (and waiting all night to meet them — I was a teenager, ok?) I tried to prepare myself for what I was about to ensue, but there was no preparing.
Foals took the stage at about 9 P.M. and opened with “Snake Oil” off their new album What Went Down (an album I’d definitely consider as one of the best of this year) and immediately got the crowd energized. Even some of the security guards were bobbing their heads to this serious jam. Yannis Philippakis, Foal’s frontman had already begun doing his signature moves — which aren’t really moves, just him running back and forth, jumping, and spinning like a madman. To each his own.
If Foals decided to leave the venue, I’m almost certain everyone would be fine with it, as the first song was a show in itself. But they didn’t, they continued with “Olympic Airways” and added in “Balloons,” older songs from Antidotes, their first album. It was at this point I began to feel like a teenager again, wanting to scream at the top of my lungs due to the sheer force this band brought. Thankfully, there were two drunk girls next to me who did enough screaming for all of us!
Halfway through, the band slowed it down with “Spanish Sahara,” which is a long song, but a very beautiful one. As Philippakis shouted “I’m the fury in your head, I’m the fury in your bed, I’m the ghost in the back of your head” into the microphone, I looked around and saw mostly everyone in the crowd, myself included, singing along.
The band ended their set with “Inhaler,” one of their most popular songs, and looking out into the crowd I saw everyone on their feet screaming back at Philippakis. After the band left the stage the entire Union Transfer began chanting so loud that it sounded like I was at a futbol game.
The band came back to play “Mountain At My Gates” and “What Went Down,” and I knew what song was coming next. As a huge Foals fan I almost feel it’s a religious experience to see “Two Steps, Twice” at least once in your life and thats exactly what happened.
The rest of the band started playing as Philippakis was notably absent from the stage, but suddenly a spotlight hit the balcony and there he was. If you aren’t a Foals fan you’d probably be really confused at what he was doing, and if you probably wouldn’t want to be standing underneath him.
In the blink of an eye he jumped from off the balcony and fans caught him. He then crowd surfed back to stage to finish the set. Foals won NME’s best live band award and it’s obvious why. This band truly puts their heart, blood, and a lot of sweat on to every stage they play. I wouldn’t be surprised if Foals became the biggest band in the world.
The band is hitting up Australia next, and doing a run around Europe, so if you want to catch them, you’ll have to wait a little, but until then check out their new album if you haven’t had the chance!