Reviews

Foals + Bear Hands + Kiev @ Orpheum Theatre – March 18th 2019

Singer Yannis Philippakis of Uk rock band the Foals performing at Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, BC on March 18th 2019

UK rock outfit Foals released their fifth studio album on March 8th in Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1, the first piece in a two installment compilation.

In support of this new offering, the group has been on the road since mid December. Kicking things off in France, moving through Europe, jumping over to Mexico, and then, last night, they started their North American leg.

The night started off with American indie rock band Kiev. They sauntered to the forefront and took the curious crowd through a cerebral journey in auditory exploration. They were something beautiful and emblazoned with intensity, a little Sigur Rós and Talos wrapped in a Thom Yorke vision.

American rock band Kiev performing at Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, BC on March 18th 2019

I had never even heard of them before their set but I was left with an eagerness to fall in love with them. After their set, I quickly liked and followed them on every social stream I could find.

The NY post-punk group Bear Hands grabbed the reigns and kept the venue filled with captivating sounds. Their songs carried these careful mixes of effortless vocals and building instrumentals. It was somewhere in this no mans land between heavy and soft, between dance and head-bang. I found myself captivated by the lead singer, Dylan Rau. He was lost in his music and seemed mostly indifferent to the where he was. Just roaming and emoting without consequence.

NY post-punk band Bear Hands performing at Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, BC on March 18th 2019

The audience was nicely riled up for the headliners to take control.

Frontman Yannis Philippakis, drummer Jack Bevan, rhythm guitarist Jimmy Smith, keyboardist Edwin Congreave, bassist Jeremy Pritchard, and percussionists Kit Monteith strolled out from side stage and waved to the crowd, as they each took their post.

The patrons closest to the stage vacated their seats and swarmed in front of the band.

The soft opening of “On The Luna”, from their latest album, wafted across the house.

Hands of patrons raised in the air and flowed to and fro, as finger silhouettes danced about.

Energy built and carried into “Mountain At My Gates”, from their 2015 record What Went Down. Those haunting vocals rang out and goosebumps raced across the nape of my neck.

Singer Yannis Philippakis of Uk rock band the Foals performing at Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, BC on March 18th 2019

The band was fiery. Every song from there on out hit with intensity.

There was no barricade between the band and the fans, as such random people managed to jump on stage and quickly dive back out into the accepting arms of their peers and managing to crowd surf for a few moments.

The Foals ended the main body of their set with a compelling version of
“Inhaler” from their 2013 album Holy Fire.

After a quick second back stage they returned to cap the night off with a two-song encore which included “What Went Down” and “Two Steps, Twice”. During the denouement of the final song, Yannis walked out on to the crowd. He sang his heart out while perched on the shoulders of his captivated disciples. It was a perfect way to complete a wonderful set.

I left the venue with sweat on my brow and a smirk on my face.

Thank you to all three bands for a fantastic night out.

Come back soon!

Setlist

On the Luna
Mountain at My Gates
Exits
Olympic Airways
My Number (with transition outro)
Black Gold
Spanish Sahara
Syrups
Red Socks Pugie
Sunday
In Degrees
Late Night
Inhaler

Encore:
What Went Down
Two Steps, Twice

Photos © Jamie Taylor // Cryptic Photography

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