By Zach Bourque //
Of all the seven days in a week, Tuesday might be the least exciting. We go to work, grab a bite to eat and go to bed.
But when UK rockers Foals come into town, things change. Bros get stoked, beers get drunk and fans get pumped. This exact course of events went down last Tuesday at the Hollywood Palladium for the band’s return to Los Angeles after a raucous performance in Oakland the night before (see our photos from the show here).
Few bands bring out such an eclectic cross section of a city like Foals. While the majority in attendance seemed to be irresponsible USC students, old-timers, high schoolers, hipsters and average Joe’s all made an appearance despite the fall heat. The variety was no fluke. Foals are a band that transcend expectations — a commercial indie-rock band whose appeal is equal parts KROQ and KCRW.
Opening duties came from Orange County’s Kiev, who were missed due to traffic, followed by Brooklyn’s Bear Hands. Instead of telling you what genre Bear Hands’ music fits under, it’s probably more efficient to tell you what they’re not. They’re not metal, they’re not country and they’re definitely not gospel.
Needless to say, Bear Hands were all over the map on this night. Rap vocals? Check. Catchy keyboards? Check. Each song sounded different than the next, which proved to be equally refreshing and infuriating. It was like they set out to chronicle the musical progression of today’s culture starting with Limp Bizkit and ending with Imagine Dragons.
This “throw everything at the wall and see what fits” worked to a certain degree for Bear Hands. Their music remained genuinely interesting to hear throughout their set, and the foursome definitely had the chops to handle a venue the size of the Palladium. Ultimately though, Bear Hands never coalesced into something extraordinary.
If the line outside the venue after Bear Hands was any indication, many skipped the opening acts entirely in anticipation of the main course. Around 9:50 p.m., Foals took the stage and quickly got everyone’s feet moving with an instrumental prelude and the hard-rocking track “Snake Oil” off their latest release What Went Down. The band’s range was exhausted in full effect throughout their set as they transitioned into catchy, dance-friendly tracks such as “My Number” and slower tracks like “Give It All”.
Foals closed out their rambunctious set with a killer take on the title track “What Went Down” that brought lead singer/guitarist Yannis Philippakis diving into the crowd, giving fans one hell of a selfie and proving their rock credentials for good. After all, any band that can unite 20-something bros with 50-something grandparents gets a gold star in our book. Rock brings people together, and those who made it out to see this unicorn of a band won’t live to regret it.
Give It All
Mountain at My Gates
Red Socks Pugie
A Knife in the Ocean
What Went Down
Two Steps, Twice