Vocalist/guitarist Yannis Philippakis and drummer Jack Bevan disbanded their math rock band The Edmund Fitzgerald so that they could play in a band that was more fun. With guitarist Jimmy Smith, keyboardist Edwin Congreave, and bassist Walter Gervers, they formed the indie rock band Foals in 2005 in Oxford, England. Foals immediately became very successful in the United Kingdom. The band's fourth album, What Went Down, was released on August 28, 2015.
Headlining tonight at Terminal 5, Foals put on an energetic rock set that drew from the band's four albums and was as polished as it could be. Philippakis' vocals were clear and soulful, motivating the audience to chant along with him on verses as well as choruses. The quintet accentuated pop melodies and shoegaze instrumentation -- shoegaze in that they played extended instrumentals with no lead instruments. Some of these extensions were charged by heavy riffs, and some were buoyed by tranquil waves of mood-instilling softness. Foals ignited the audience with rallying vocals and repetitious chords rather than wowing the fans with the individual musicians' virtuosity. As a live ensemble, Foals' driving grooves electrified its audience, but the audience's most memory might be how Philippakis leapt into the audience three times, twice from the stage and once from Terminal 5's first balcony.
Visit Foals at www.foals.co.uk.