Storms didn’t prevent a packed house at Cincinnati’s Bogart’s on Tuesday, May 10th as Foals, Joywave and Silversun Pickups offered up a highly complementary, high-energy bill.
Full disclosure, the weather and an earlier-than-expected start time meant that we missed out on Joywave’s set. For what it’s worth, the energized crowd didn’t seem disappointed with what they had seen upon our arrival. Sorry, Joywave. We fucked up.Foals lived up to their sterling live reputation, offering a singular mix of riffy precision, tension and spacey expansiveness. A slow, almost torturous synth pulse and crimson lighting takeover built a crescendo into the band’s stage arrival, creating a smooth and poised transition into “Snake Oil” off of last summer’s What Went Down. Frontman Yannis Philippakis wasted no time in getting acquainted with the crowd, showcasing an impassioned vocal delivery and technical guitar chops, even as crowdsurfing early in the set.
The Oxford five-piece bounced through dancy favorites of new and old, including “Olympic Airways,” “Red Socks Pugie” and “My Number” before launching into the grittier side of their catalog.
Foals is one of those bands whose songs just have to be a blast to play live. I can’t imagine seeing a crowd’s reaction to “Inhaler” each night ever gets old. And once the first delay-drenched guitar notes of the song kicked in, you could feel a collective “hell yes” from the crowd. The What Went Down title track carried the energy through to the close with Philippakis’ strained vocal repetitions and hurricane-like swirl of guitar and organ stamping a monumental finale.Silversun Pickups’ Brian Aubert entered stage in a seemingly good mood, making playful gestures to the crowd as the band slipped into opening track “Cradle (Better Nature).” The L.A. 4-piece’s entire set had a frisky and fun vibe to it, with the call-and-response crowd pleaser off of the latest album, “Nightlight,” catalyzing the room.
Aubert put the spotlight on coy bassist Nikki Monninger, commenting that “Nikki always gets nervous before this song” before moving into “Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance),” a track in which she features lead vocals. She played it off, endearing a crowd that erupted in a supportive chant. The band moved through catalog-spanning setlist, with old favorites “Panic Switch” and “Lazy Eye” picking things up.Before capping off the encore, Aubert asked the crowd’s permission to get a little weird before moving into the closing track off Better Nature, “The Wild Kind.” The weirdness was welcome.
At one point during the set, Aubert had mentioned seeing lightning strike a transformer outside of the venue earlier in the evening, knocking out power briefly. Luckily for us, the energy was restored.
Red Socks Pugie
Mountain at My Gates
What Went Down
Silversun Pickups Setlist
Cradle (Better Nature)
Well Thought Out Twinkles
The Royal We
Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)
Little Lover’s So Polite
Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)
The Wild Kind