Live: FOALS // Alexandra Palace, London
Oxford quartet Foals played their biggest UK headline shows to date in celebration of their fifth album, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost.
It’s been an excruciatingly long wait for the band’s follow up to 2015’s What Went Down, and for our patience, we have been rewarded with not one, but two new albums. Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 was released in March this year, with Part 2 due in Autumn.
With their stellar reputation for putting on phenomenal live shows, it’s only fitting that the indie rock royalty should take the stage at Alexandra Palace, where they sold out two consecutive nights, each drawing 10,000 eager fans to the historic North London venue. They were joined on this tour by Everything Everything’s bassist, Jeremy Pritchard, who effortlessly took on every song as though they were his own.
Foals knew they had a limited time on stage, and wasted not a moment, blazing through a whopping 18 songs that had everyone in the crowd on the go from the start. While daylight still lingered in the venue, the band began with On The Luna, which despite being a new song, had the crowd singing along to every word. Mountain At My Gates came next, followed by Snake Oil, both heavier tracks from What Went Down, in contrast to the opener.
The intro to Olympic Airways incited a round of roaring cheers, and the crowd chanted along with frontman Yannis Philippakis to the choruses of “disappear” and “reappear”, before drummer Jack Bevan’s flawlessly executed beats carried us out of the Antidotes single into My Number. To say that the lyrics “I feel, I feel alive” rang true with every soul in the crowd would be an understatement. Black Gold brought us back almost a decade ago to 2010’s Total Life Forever, before we were launched back to 2019 with Sunday and Syrups. Then in true Foals fashion, the climax of Providence saw Yannis climb onto the outstretched arms of the crowd for the outro.
By this point, the air had grown thick – a cocktail of the aromas of beer and sweat filled the room, greeted by the blasts of confetti during In Degrees. A true king of the stage, Philippakis had no trouble commanding the ten thousand before him to get down on the ground in preparation of the jump, Inhaler’s final big chorus.
Teasing us with a taste of the upcoming sixth album, the encore kicked off with unreleased track Black Bull. Then, once again lifted by the physical strength of the crowd, Yannis belted out lines from What Went Down, while Two Steps, Twice closed the show with an explosion of pink streamers.
It’s hard to decide whether tonight pacified the anticipation of Foals’s comeback or built further excitement for Part 2. What’s for sure is that whatever they do next, we’ll be right there.
Photos: Abigail Shii