Tash and I had dinner at Amigos on Acland Street (another overpriced, average Mexican restaurant in Melbourne- surprise, surprise) before heading to the Palais Theatre for Fleet Foxes sold out show. The last time they came through town I was away overseas, so I was very excited to finally see them live. The opening act was Grand Salvo, the moniker of Melbourne singer-songwriter Paddy Mann. He played a lovely set of folk music and was joined on stage at various times by a female vocalist and cellist for different songs.
The nearly two hour set by Seattle's Fleet Foxes was absolutely amazing. Their four part harmonies just soared and they played all the songs with energy and a sense of purpose. This was not a quiet folk show. The lighting was quite subtle with the band only occasionally lit from the front and background projections of moving stars overlaid with different geometric shapes. The set list consisted of songs from all three of their releases, including my favorites "Mykonos," "Ragged Wood," "Your Protector," "Montezuma," "Battery Kinzie," "The Shrine/An Argument" and "Grown Ocean." Quite a few of the songs were played back to back, and the band would sometimes double up on the same instruments to intensify the sound. When they did talk with the crowd the guys were quite funny, especially in telling a story about being in the same hotel elevator as Public Enemy's Flavor Flav the last time they were in Melbourne. The band received standing ovations at the end of the main set and after the last song of the night, "Helplessness Blues." This was a fantastic gig to kick off 2012 with, and will be a hard one to beat.
Here is the amazing animated video for "The Shrine/An Argument"