Foals @ Digbeth Arena, 16 June 2019

For two nights in a row Digbeth Arena was packed with fans ready to witness one of the finest live acts in the country. The large open-air space and railway arches combined with abstract videos in the background creating the perfect atmosphere for the storm that Foals brought to the excited crowd. 
Foals were welcomed by fans with open arms and loud cheers: they were ready to bounce, defying the freezing cold that started to feel more present than before. The tour promotes their new album Part 1 Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, so there’s no surprise the Oxford quartet decided to begin the night with On The Luna, filling the venue with excitement. They continued with one of their most popular song, ‘Mountain At My Gates,’ followed by ‘Snake Oil,’ both on their four years old album, What Went Down. Going back to Antidotes, the band’s debut album from 2008, ‘Olympic Airways’ brought back memories of the band’s spirit from the beginning of their musical career, pleasing the crowd with the brilliant guitar licks and catchy harmonies. 
The indie banger that launched Foals into fame came next. ‘My number’ drove the audience crazy. New song ‘Sunday,’  a ballad, slowed down the dance and the swaying hands bringing an angelic stillness to the set. The lull did not last long, by the end of the song the usual uplifting rhythm created by Foals was back. ‘Providence’ came with  a sea of hands and phones lifted high as the powerful vocals poured out. ‘Spanish Sahara’ was up next, bringing a soft feeling of sadness and sorrow over Digbeth while describing a horror place where you feel a “choir of furies in your head.”
Effortlessly going from slow songs to uplifting tunes, Foals went back to the restless, jittery rock vibe, treating the fans with three more new songs, ‘Exits, ‘In Degrees’ and ‘White Onions.’ The trio of tunes clearly showed a change in their style, a sort of sonic development that was rooted in their indie rock flair. 
With ‘Inhaler’ the band leaves the safety of the stage to wander into the crowd. Their lyrics and sounds would make a connection with the audience on their own, but the migration into the crowd really highlighted that sort of innate connection between band and fans. A reminder of small and more intimate gigs that once typified a Foals show. 

After a quick departure Foals were back and ready for the encore. First was their newest, more pulsating song ‘Black Bull,’ which will be released later this year, as part of their double-album. The encore perfectly displayed this more intricate heavier sound that will be appearing. Catching a glimpse of the sonic perfection left us all excited for what is to come. After another old but nonetheless brilliant hit, ‘What Went Down,’ the band asked everyone to get down to the ground for their last song, ‘Two Steps, Twice,’ during which Yannis stood on the shoulders of the people in front and walked around the crowd, keeping the fans connected until the last second.

Foals balanced high octane electricity with sweet intimate melodies, a perfect balance that fans clearly loved. We all wanted more, but sadly may have to wait for another tour to catch the brilliance that is Foals.


Reviewer: Andra Tudoran, Adriana Vasile

Photographer: Andra Tudoran

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