Foals are gearing up to release their 7th full-length album 'Life Is Yours' on June 17th. The Oxford trio played several shows in support of the release, including Utilita Arena in Birmingham and Edinburgh's Usher Hall before a more intimate show at the O2 City Hall this week on April 26th, their first time back in the city since 2019.
Photos & Review: Lauren Stewart
Newcastle's City Hall can now be transformed to a standing venue which means that the gorgeous auditorium, theatre style venue, recently taken over by O2 can facilitate anyone from comedians, public speakers and now some of the very best in music. The city centre venue has recently played host to the likes of The Vaccines and Slowthai to KSI and Neck Deep to name a few - a vast range of incredible names from a multitude of genres with a state of the art sound and lighting set up, as well as a balcony for anyone who requires seating.
Supporting on the night was Goat Girl who are fresh off touring with Sam Fender. The 4-piece group showcased a set full of original tracks, mostly taken from their 2021 album 'On All Fours' their unique and experimental sound creating waves across the industry right now and warmed up the fast-growing crowd nicely.
From the offset, it is clear that Foals are a band who are made for the big stages. The black curtain drops revealing a neon floral lighting display, aesthetically pleasing layout and well thought out production before the all familiar ear-worm melody of recent single 'Wake Me Up' starts to play. The track came as the first taste of the new album and channels a electronic-disco influence whilst still keeping that iconic sound they've been known for. Next up are older tracks 'Mountain At My Gates' and 'The Runner' which are taken in and adored by fans old and new.
The setlist is one that was created in mind for all; iconic indie anthems such as 'Olympic Airways' and smash hit 'My Number' were played next which raised the energy and of course set off the beginning of the rowdy pits created by the indie-teens who dominated the crowd before the performance calms down with 'Black Gold' and the live debut of 'Life Is Yours' - the title track from their upcoming album.
Crowd pleaser and another recent release '2am' was played next; with its fun danceability and sing-along lyrics it makes a great addition at this point in the setlist. We were also given another teaser of what's to come with new single '2001' before the arguably most awaited spangly introduction of 'In Degrees' echoes over the auditorium.
Slowing down once more with 'Last Night' and the stunning 'Spanish Sahara' set to a bright blue light backdrop which caused a sea of claps and chants the band closed up with 'Providence' and 'Inhaler' both taken from 'Holy Fire' which was released almost 10 years ago. With such a huge back catalogue of hits, it is impossible for Foals to fully please everyone but with a fair split of tracks, old, new and in between, they certainly tried their best as they gave a snippet of each of their album eras.
The 3-track encore certainly delivered electrifying energy unlike any other. The guitar driven 'Black Bull' and intoxicating 'What Went Down' were played through before front-man Yannis joined the crowd to the delight of the audience. What could be a better finisher than 'Two Steps, Twice'? A track taken from their debut album and a track that will possibly never change as their finale. Foals are a band who have always shown a gradual progression musically, but never looked away from the core of what they know best. If what we've heard so far is just a small teaser, 'Life Is Yours' is set to be one of the greatest albums of the generation and their live show is proven the band to one of the best live acts of the decade. 17th June can't come quick enough!
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