OAKLAND — Foals incited a dance party when the English rockers brought their Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Tour to the Fox Theater on Friday.
The Oxford band has two new albums in 2019: It’s already released Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1, while part 2 is expected in the fall. The first album captures the group’s sonic growth, channeling a more indie rock sound than the math rock of earlier albums. This contrast was made evident during the show, which kicked off with 2019 cuts “On the Luna” and “In Degrees,” which sandwiched “Mountain at My Gates,” from 2015’s What Went Down.
Frontman Yannis Philippakis and company went back into their catalog with math rock tune “Olympic Airways,” from 2008’s Antidotes. The group then tapped into the poppy rhythms of “My Number,” from 2013’s Holy Fire. “Syrups” combined post-punk and math rock while “Providence” donned a blend of math rock and dance punk. During the latter cut, Philippakis dove into the crowd, taking command of the show.
Foals ended the main set with “Sunday,” “Red Socks Pugie,” ”Exits” and “Inhaler.” They returned for an encore, which kicked off with “What Went Down” and closed with “Two Steps, Twice.” Full of energy and synergy, the band delivered not just a stellar performance, but a full-on party with dancing, moshing and euphoria.
Bear Hands introduced a handful of tracks from its upcoming album, Fake Tunes, including “Back Seat Driver (Spirit Guide),” “Blue Lips” and “Ignoring the Truth.” Their indie rock sound was defined by ambient reverbed guitars and Dylan Rau’s vocals.
The Brooklyn quartet’s set also included cuts from previous albums, such as “Bone Digger,” off 2014’s Distraction, and “What A Drag,” from 2010’s Burning Bush Supper Club. “I Won’t Pay” and “2AM,” from 2016’s You’ll Pay for This, delved into into fuzzy ambient electronic sounds and vocal harmonies. They closed their set with popular song “Giants”
Orange County’s Kiev returned from a hiatus just to play with Foals, because in their words, “who could say no to that?”
The quartet presented an amalgam of musical layers that went from experimental rock to jazz. Their set included songs like “Be Done Dull Cage,” “Ariah Being” and “Pulsing: Tired Lungs,” all from 2013’s Falling Bough Wisdom Teeth. Their fast jazzy beats were followed by moments of searing chaos balanced with hypnotic grooves.
Percussion was definitely one of the important parts of their sound, allowing the band to transcend many genres. It was a meticulous blend of jazz, indie and psychedelic rock. Kiev would alternate back and forth between every element, from minimalist sounds to a heavier rock style. The mixture was a pleasant surprise.
Follow photographer Joaquin Cabello at Instagram.com/joaquinxcabello.