music journalist since 1992 | educator since 2004 | podcaster since 2020 | Iranian American since birth
Previewed for LA Weekly:
Foals at the Hollywood Palladium (September 27, 2016)
Foals are the soundtrack to life’s extremes. Particularly over the course of their two more recent albums, the garage rock What Went Down (2015) and art-pop Holy Fire (2013), the British group’s forceful emotional heights go a long way in taking the listener over the edge. This is all the more pronounced during Foals’ live performances, which have hit arena status in their home country, and very respectable-sized venues in North America. Despite the group’s tremendous growth and comparable increase in reach, Foals are still about substance over flash. Their shows are possibly rawer and stronger with time, their confidence visible, their connection with their audience palpable. Vocalist Yannis Philippakis has no qualms about joining the crowd, safe in its protective intensity. At this point, a name change from “Foals” to “Stallions” would not be entirely out of order.
Watch Foals perform “Two Steps Twice” at Reading and Leeds this year via the BBC.