Live: Fleet Foxes, Austin

Fleet Foxes' harmonies carried the day at Stubb's. (Photo by Lily Angelle)

Editor’s Note: Right in the middle of finals, Austin correspondent Lily Angelle blew off some steam and attended the Fleet Foxes show at Stubb’s on Tuesday night.

Pretty much every square inch of the outdoor venue at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin was packed last night to catch Fleet Foxes, whose new album Helplessness Blues is a magnificent piece of work.

With a rousing opening set from The Cave Singers, interrupted by a short rainstorm blowing much-needed gusts of wind into the smoky crowd, Fleet Foxes took the stage around 8:45 to accommodate a live video/audio stream on NPR. Opening with “The Cascades” off their new album, the audience quieted to hear the Foxes’ otherworldly guitar melodies.

The bearded bunch went on to play favorites like “He Doesn’t Know Why” and “Mykonos,” harmonizing beautifully and proving just how cool it can be to sing about forests and mountains. The group switched instruments frequently, incorporating the flute, cello, maracas and tambourine into certain songs.

Robin Pecknold's pre-show moment of repose (Photo by Jave Del Rosario)

One of my favorites was “Blue Spotted Tail” off the new album. Robin Pecknold performed with such heartfelt magnanimity that it was easy to forget your surroundings and just let the music absorb you. It was distracting, however, when fans awkwardly tried to sing along to every long, drawn-out harmony- I heard a lot of bad falsettos coming from the crowd around me.

We accosted Robin, as he was hanging out behind Stubb’s before the show; he said the Fleet Foxes are returning to Austin in September to play the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Fleet Foxes official website

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