Live Review and Photos: Fleet Foxes and Cave Singers at Spreckels Theatre, May 6, 2011

Photos by Natalie Kardos

Last Friday, indie-rock flower children Fleet Foxes treated a sold-out Spreckels Theatre crowd to a set of immaculate compositions.

To say that the band was methodical would be an understatement. Whereas most performers take the stage and immediately launch into their first song, Fleet Foxes singer Robin Pecknold took a couple minutes to get situated before trickling into “The Cascades,” an intricate instrumental from the band’s acclaimed new album, Helplessness Blues.

The choice to open with “The Cascades” foreshadowed the grandiose set that would follow. Throughout the night, members of Fleet Foxes played in deep concentration, with plenty of between-song breaks for tuning and guitar changes. Pecknold at times seemed worried that his complex new material left too much room for live-setting mistakes. However, if Fleet Foxes were unpracticed, it didn’t show; their performance was virtually flawless.

The band really showed its stuff on “Montezuma” and the “Norwegian Wood”-esque “Lorelai,” both from the new album. As the encore approached, people clamored for “Oliver James,” a classic from the band’s self-titled 2008 debut. Closing with such a crowd-pleaser would have been a slam dunk, but the band skipped “Oliver” altogether and instead played their new album’s title track, demonstrating the strength of the material with a chill-inducing performance.

Throughout the show, San Diegans made something of an embarrassment of themselves, with impatient shouting sometimes indistinguishable from heckling. At one point, one attendee in the 10th row stood up to film a song on his iPhone, blocking dozens of attendees’ views before begrudgingly agreeing to sit down. Toward the end of the show, another attendee ran up the aisle and seemed very close to fighting an 80-year-old usher.

All of this visibly unnerved Pecknold, who nonetheless handled the rowdy crowd with grace, responding mainly to praise and smiling sheepishly anytime he didn’t understand what the commotion was about.

Shenanigans aside, by the end of the show, Fleet Foxes had the audience under their collective thumbs. The standing ovation that the band received was certainly warranted, and it made for one memorable night.

Photos – Fleet Foxes and Cave Singers at Spreckels Theatre – May 6, 2011

Fleet Foxes on tour
05/13 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
05/14 – The Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
05/15 – DAR Constitution Hall – Washington, DC
05/17 – Orpheum Theatre – Boston, MA
05/18 – The United Palace Theatre – New York, NY
05/19 – The United Palace Theatre – New York, NY
05/21 – Tower Theatre – Upper Darby, PA
05/25 – Columbiahalle – Berlin, Germany
05/26 – Dachau Summer of Music – Munich, Germany
05/28 – Primavera Sound – Barcelona, Spain
05/30 – Bataclan – Paris, France
05/31 – Hammersmith Apollo – London, UK
06/01 – Hammersmith Apollo – London, UK
06/02 – Hammersmith Apollo – London, UK
06/23 – Civic Hall – Wolverhampton, UK
06/25 – Custom House Square – Belfast, Ireland
06/26 – Live at the Marquee – Cork, Ireland
06/28 – Manchester Apollo – Manchester, UK
06/29 – Corn Exchange – Edinburgh, UK
07/01 – Eden Sessions – St. Austell, UK
07/02 – Main Square Festival – Arras, France
07/03 – Rock Werchter, Belgium
07/04 – Days Off – Salle Pleyel, Paris, France
07/06 – Malta Festival – Poznan, Poland
07/08 – Alive Festival – Lisbon, Portugal
07/10 – Ruisrock – Turku, Finland
07/14 – Massey Hall – Toronto, ON
07/16 – Pitchfork Music Festival – Chicago, IL
07/17 – State Theatre – Minneapolis, MN
07/18 – Uptown Theater – Kansas City, MO
07/19 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO
07/21 – The Fillmore Auditorium – Denver, CO
07/22 – Red Butte Garden Amphitheater – Salt Lake City, UT
07/23 – Knitting Factory – Boise, ID
07/24 – Edgefield Amphitheater – Troutdale, OR
08/11 – Oya Festival – Oslo, Norway
08/12 – Way Out West – Gothenburg, Sweden
08/13 – Haldern Pop Festival – Rees-Haldern, Germany
08/20 – Green Man Festival – Brecon Beacons, UK
12/02 – All Tomorrow’s Parties – Butlins, Minehead, Somerset, UK

3 thoughts on “Live Review and Photos: Fleet Foxes and Cave Singers at Spreckels Theatre, May 6, 2011”

  1. In Boston the entire audience got to their feet 15 minutes into the show to never sit down again. Just saying. It's all a matter of perspective, isn't it.

    1. I was at that San Diego show, and wanted to stand up too. everyone stayed seated though. standing just let’s the band know you’re interested and appreciative. excited about the new ff album!

  2. I was sitting one row in front of the dude (and his g/f) who wanted to stand the whole time and inconvenience everyone behind them. It nearly came to blows at one point. His argument to the people around him: "It's a ROCK show…God forbid I wanna stand and rock out at a ROCK show!" Apparently, he's never heard the Fleet Foxes. Such an ugly, unnecessary situation during such a beautiful show. Some people should never be allowed to go to concerts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.