Saturday, October 11, 2008

fleet foxes

Tonight was a special night, and it didn't even happen in Mad City. I headed 75 miles east to Brew City, aka Milwaukee, to see Fleet Foxes at the Pabst Theater. If you don't know about Fleet Foxes, you should learn somehow, because I might not be able to describe them properly. Wait - I've got it. You know that song "Greensleeves?" Well, if there was a band that played songs like "Greensleeves," but updated for the 21st-century alt/progressive scene, that would be this band. Does that make sense?

I might have never learned about FF if I hadn't been back out to Seattle in August, and stayed a few days with my old roommate Brian. He'd just gotten their CD (on loan from the library! the cheap wanker ...), and I was won over right away. Actually, I probably would have learned about them eventually, because they're generating tremendous buzz now. Probably even past the buzz stage, since they're now selling out most of their shows. But I might not have learned in time for tonight's show.

Anyhow, what a show. The Pabst was jammed, the mood was right, the sound was great. When you take their soaring vocal harmonies, and add in those lyrics about forests and shrubberies, and then that medieval drum-playing comes in - pa rup a pum pum, pa rup a pum pum - well ... it's kind of thrilling. Honestly, that's the best descriptor I can come up with. And they're funny guys! The between-song chatter was really pretty good. And lead singer Robin Pecknold played an impromptu solo version of Bob Dylan's "Boots of Spanish Leather," at the request of someone from the audience, which was cool.

And as I was driving home, I got to hear a re-broadcast of the show on the radio, which was also cool. (Thank you 88.9 FM in Milwaukee, Community-Supported Radio!) And when you throw in the fact that Fleet Foxes are from Seattle, and that I was such a big influence on them before I left town, it's just icing on the cake. Come back to Wisconsin soon, homies ...

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