July 23, 2008

Last night :: Fleet Foxes at the Hi-Dive

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:

Sun Giant – Fleet Foxes
White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes

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:


  • Same thing happened over in Boston. It sold out weeks in advance, and every major Boston news outlet was there covering it–a show that held just 200 people. Crazy how fast they’ve blown up. I got on the list just a few hours before it began. I wrote about it here: http://mel.opho.be/index.php/show-reviews/fleet-foxes-middle-east-upstairs-cambridge-ma-july-14-2008.html

    The_Writer — July 24, 2008 @ 4:50 am

  • Heather, Did you catch the openers The Dutchess & The Duke too ? I'm loving ther new cd, curious as to how they are live.

    -tom — July 24, 2008 @ 8:56 am

  • I love how you writ. I mean how great is ‘Denver’s Hi-Dive was no country for procrastinators’ and ‘I had to go all Prefontaine’

    Jeff Hotchkiss — July 24, 2008 @ 9:56 am

  • They were great when they were here in Dallas a few weeks ago. I read a Myspace post that said their van broke down outside of Denver and that’s why they didn’t got to SLC Punk.

    I hope they had the really great stories like they did in D-Town.

    Bona Fide Darling — July 24, 2008 @ 11:23 am

  • this blog is slipping away from relevancy. please return to being good at what you do.

    love sam

    Anonymous — July 24, 2008 @ 11:59 am

  • lately all I seem to listen to is Bowerbirds and Fleet Foxes.

    Robin and his mates just take me to a complete new age without actually sounding like a band who’s just copying folk bands from the early seventies. They sound fresh but familiar at the same time like I’ve been waiting for each and every song without knowing.

    Have you seen Robin covering Judee Still’s Crayon Angels on the Black Cab Sessions? It’s such a lovely moment!

    Uma Pessoa — July 24, 2008 @ 1:08 pm

  • heather
    re: the comment above… well I guess there’s always one.
    think I speak for all the rest though… keep on rockin!
    fuel friends is a genuine web highlight!
    even from the cheap seats! :-)

    Anonymous — July 24, 2008 @ 3:13 pm

  • wtf sam – i don’t know what you are talking about. i’ve been reading fuelfriends since, oh, probably early 2006 and heather always has done essentially the same (wonderful) thing since she started it, and it is always a treat. i, for one, enjoyed this concert review heather (even if you guys did steal them from us out here in salt lake! i’ll see em in a few weeks yet with wilco)….

    heather! keep up the good work!!

    Chad — July 25, 2008 @ 7:40 am

  • Not a fan of this wispy madrigal music. No, not a fan at all. I’d rather listen to Elvis’s movie hits than this (or another recent darling, Shearwater). Boys, time for your testicles to drop.

    Dan — July 31, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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