I’ve finagled, bargained, wheedled, and slunk my way into some pretty tough shows over the years, but let me tell you: Denver’s Hi-Dive was no country for procrastinators last night at the Fleet Foxes show.
I’d waited too long to secure a spot to review this scruffy Seattle quintet, shortsightedly not expecting a rare total sell-out crowd at the intimate Hi-Dive. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a crowd looking for spare tickets outside that venue, and it was only through a stroke of sheer last-minute luck, a guy named Kevin, and his Austrian exchange-student friend that I managed to get into this show. I was surprised but pleased at how hotly anticipated the Fleet Foxes’ Denver stop was last night — and how it lived up to the hype.
Once inside the humid oven of the club, the air was saturated with their gorgeous golden harmonies and near-ethereal shimmering songs, firmly rooted in a sort of Appalachian wilderness. I wish that they’d played longer, but with only one EP and a recently released full-length to pull from, they seemed to be climbing down off the stage way sooner than I would have liked. I was reminded of a sentiment in the Pitchfork review of their album when they wrote that “[the last song] doesn’t shoo you out the door. Instead, Fleet Foxes let you linger for a few more bars, leaning forward to catch Pecknold’s last syllable as it fades into the air. They don’t seem to want the record to end any more than you will.” I felt the same way at the end of this show.
The mood in the air was at once vibrating with a sort of CSNY-tinged nostalgia while also bringing to mind obvious contemporaries like Band of Horses. I’d rank their performance as nothing short of mesmerizing, the weight of it seeming to push back against the space in the room in almost palpable ways. Fleet Foxes also apparently liked Denver so much that they decided to stay with us an extra day today (sorry, SLC!).
OH! If you want to see some real-deal gorgeous pictures from last night, please check the fabulous Laurie Scavo’s shots. Even though I usually tend to think of Fleet Foxes’ music in shades of golden, all the reds and purples that she captures in her pictures seem so fitting to how it all felt last night.
For listening, I particularly love both of these songs:
Fleet Foxes are currently on tour (catch them! do it! buy in advance!), including some shows with Wilco. Their MySpace page adds a wonderful bit of their inner-monologue detail to these dates: