Fleet Foxes 5/19 United Palace Theatre NYC Review/Photos

Words and photos by Michael Zonenashvili

There’s something to be said about the sound of instruments such as upright bass, marxophone, and harmonium resonating through an enormous old church. That something is, along with every other instrument, that they sound completely breathtaking when combined. Opening with “The Cascades” and transitioning right into the blasting, driving Rhythm of “Grown Ocean” Fleet Foxes solidified themselves as a live force of nature. Normally evocative of a quiet, mountain town, this live “nature” of the now-six-piece was completely different.

Although sometimes featuring quiet, solo spots with touches of harmony, the Fleet Foxes are louder than you’d imagine, in the best way possible. From the ending jam of “Sim Sala Bim” to the jarring transition of “The Shrine/An Argument” the group loves to punctuate their sound with energetic crescendos and peaks. As always, the harmonies were spot on, but new songs allowed Robin to take the lead with vocals far more, with the harmonies becoming an addition rather than a centerpiece, a different turn from the songs from the first record.

The band played nearly both albums in full, and some songs from the EP, Lord of the Rings jokes and “rapture” stage banter were abound, but it was the music’s perfect translations to a live environment that lead to a moving standing ovation the first time the house lights were turned on.

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