A glowing shout out to missing Van Dyke Parks as lead singer and songwriter Robin Pecknold noted Parks’ contributions to music began the show. The crowd whistled and yelled as the guitars, piano, cello, and drums began the sweet harmony so unique to the Fleet Foxes.
The band took the stage following Grand, a piano and cello duet. This was a last minute change from the scheduled Van Dyke Parks. The pianist seemed a bit overzealous with his playing, although his voice was soothing. As the audience took their seats, many were jammin’ to the tunes and praised the duet as they left the stage. As the lights in the lobby flickered, the remaining ticket holders rushed to find their seats. Drastic lighting techniques allowed the audience to see a calming aura surround the Fleet Foxes and deepened the mood as the music began. The band members dressed in comfortable clothing which added to the great setting. The appearance of the band matched the ambiance of The Palace, the mood of the music, and the lighting really added to the overall experience.
Perhaps one of the most interesting and entertaining item about the live performance of the Fleet Foxes is multi-instrumentalist, Morgan Henderson. His versatility with instruments such as the bass, flute, and mandolin is heard on many songs, yet the live experience of watching him change instruments and the precision with which he plays is impeccable. As the Fleet Foxes are known primarily as a folk band, the diversity of the members added an incredible entertainment value for the audience. Casey Wescott, primarily the pianist, also adds vocals and plays the mandolin. The arrangements are collaboration between members Morgan Henderson and Joshua Tillman. Tillman sat behind his drum set with the intention of bringing the songs together with sleek rhythms while adding vocals. Bass guitarist Christian Wargo stood center stage, calmly providing a cool and comforting beat. Additional information about Fleet Foxes can be found at fleetfoxes.com.
This was the first time I saw Fleet Foxes perform live and overall, I would see them again. A great mixture of original folk music bridged into pop culture bringing a diverse audience to The Palace.