The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

97° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Review: Foals’s Rialto performance was indie enough, but lacked personality

    Courtney Helman

    Yannis Philippakis, guitarist for FOALs, strums out notes at The Rialto Theatre in Tucson on Tuesday, April 19.

    Tucson lovers of indie rock all accumulated downtown to one location on Tuesday night. Hipsters near and far sported their wonderful beards and unique fashion tastes at The Rialto Theatre to see British indie rock band Foals in concert.

    Yannis Philippakis and company commanded the stage, captivating fans and newcomers alike. Philippakis expressed genuine appreciation for everyone in attendance, clearly understanding that without devoted fans, a band cannot succeed.

    “This is our first time in Tucson in three or four years,” Philippakis said to the concertgoers. ”Last time, we didn’t fill the place, but now you guys are stretching all the way to the back, so thanks for coming out.”

    Indie band Kiev opened the show with a decent but less than spectacular performance. Kiev did not do a bad job, but it failed to really capture the audience’s attention or make a significant impact with its music. One heckler in the back even blurted out “Bring on Foals!” at one point during Kiev’s set. Although they hesitated to so blatantly express it, most of the room seemed to agree.

    Following Kiev’s performance,Philippakis and the boys took the stage, and that’s when the real party began. The aroma of marijuana filled the air, and at least one bearded hippie got escorted out as punishment for drug use — a true concert experience.

    The band kept a high level of energy throughout the show, as Philippakis did everything from unnecessarily screaming into the microphone all the way to crowd surfing. Those lucky enough to make contact with him during the crowd surf definitely won’t shower for at least a month.

    The band played a rather interesting setlist. Foals played hit songs “Olympic Airwaves” and “My Number” rather early in the show. “Olympic Airwaves” is a smart choice up front, but “My Number” is a song the audience can really get into, and playing it so early prevented them from doing that a little bit.

    Foals kept the audience engaged with tracks like “Mountain At My Gates,” “Late Night” and “Inhaler.” Then, came the big one. The most magical and emotional moment of the night happened when the band played their mystical ballad “Spanish Sahara,” a song that makes you question everything about life, while simultaneously wondering whether you are tripping on acid.

    Andrew Barney, an undeclared sophomore at the UA, shared in this attitude toward the song.

    “Dude. ‘Spanish Sahara’ was, like, so chill,” Barney said. “It blew my mind. I can’t even describe it in words.”

    Foals do have an astounding ability to connect with their audience, but unfortunately, the band did not use that ability to its fullest extent during this performance. High energy and great song playing go a long way, but it’s also important for a band to talk to the audience and make the performance feel more personal. Philippakis did this to an extent, but he could have put slightly more effort into speaking directly to the audience, which would have made the performance seem more intimate, especially at a venue as small as the Rialto.

    Still, Foals played a great show that pleased those in attendance, and even those unfamiliar with the band.

    Sarah Barney, a concert attendee who had never heard the band before, left the show with the band having made a good impression on her.

    ”I personally thought it was surprisingly good, especially from the standpoint of someone who doesn’t listen to that kind of music, and I don’t know, it drew me in in a way that I haven’t felt at a concert before,” she said.

    Foals rocked, the crowd danced and everyone seemed to have a great time. The band even came back onstage with an encore, performing the title track off their new album, “What Went Down,” along with one of the band’s classics, “Two Steps, Twice.”

    Foals then left the stage, despite the crowd screaming for another encore. The band played a fairly short set, but still captured the hearts and minds of the audience members. The attending hipsters left with their indie thirst quenched, at least for now.

    Follow Alec Kuehnle on Twitter.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search