With Occupy Wall Street protestors marching underneath the famous marquee this past weekend, Fleet Foxes filled the Chicago Theatre for two sold-out shows Friday and Saturday evenings.
On their last visit to Chicago at Union Park during Pitchfork Music Festival, the Foxes were impressive outdoors, but their melodic vocal harmonizing sounded all the more pristine within the hallowed halls of the Chicago Theatre.
When “the earth shook” during “Sim Sala Bim,” J. Tillman’s drums crashed as though it literally did, before the sextet presented astounding renditions of “Your Protector,” “White Winter Hymnal,” and “Ragged Wood.”
The stage was complete with a glimmering backdrop of the night sky transformed into a kind of digital dream catcher that entranced the audience as lead singer Robin Pecknold took calm, extended (assumed) tea breaks between songs.
A rapidly maturing band, the collective played calmly, and as well as I’ve ever heard music performed live, easily on par with their influences like Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
Friday’s encore included a solo rendition of a new song Robin had just completed, “Sun it Rises,” and “Blue Ridge Mountains” off their debut, closing the night with the title track of their sophomore effort Helplessness Blues.
Although Helplessness Blues was released in May, this peaceful, elegant album truly deserves a second fall listen. A perfect compliment to the changing colors of the leaves, welcome to autumn in America.