After a series of explosive main stage sets at Falls Festival, Foals brought their inimitable live show to Melbourne off the back of 2015’s What Went Down. Foals’ signature brand of well crafted songs that build into gigantic choruses and instrumental crescendos has been winning them fans all over the world since their debut Antidotes. As everyone filed into Festival Hall, there was a sense that we were going to witness something pretty huge tonight.

Sydney’s Mansionair got the proceedings rolling with their synth induced indie rock. Looking like complete naturals on the sizeable stage; the band’s set included the instantly recognisable ‘Hold Me Down’ and latest single ‘Speak Easy’. Mansionair have already cemented themselves as an Australian act to watch and with the release of their debut album set for this year, it’s likely they’ll be having a massive 2016.

A big drawing card for many ticket holders was the ineffable Django Django, who launched straight into the track ‘Hail Bop’ before unleashing favourites off their new album Born Under Saturn. While it did feel a little strange to have them in a support role of sorts, their infectious tracks still delighted the way I’m sure they do during their headline shows. Many of the seated patrons took to their aisles to have a dance during their set, refusing to remain seated when their biggest songs ‘Default’ and ‘Life’s a Beach’ were played.

The first time I caught Foals they played a daytime set on a smaller stage at Big Day Out in 2013. Within a couple of songs lead singer Yannis was in the crowd, as is the tradition for most of their shows. I think everyone in the crowd knew that the band wouldn’t be confined to a side stage for much longer, with this tour, their biggest in Australia to date proving just that.
What Went Down tracks ‘Snake Oil’ and ‘Mountain At My Gates’ kicked things off, before the band launched into the atmospheric ‘Olympic Airways’. ‘My Number’ made an early arrival in the set, but the crowd’s reception was overwhelming enthusiastic nonetheless. ‘Blue Blood’ and ‘Providence’ also impressed while their masterpiece ‘Spanish Sahara’ completely floored.
The dreamlike state ‘Spanish Sahara’ induced was immediately broken with the drum intro of ‘Red Socks Pugie’, another song that highlights how on top of their game Foals have been from the beginning. Ending the main set with the gigantic ‘Inhaler’, only to return with the even bigger ‘What Went Down’ just goes to show that Foals are the ultimate crowd pleasers. Ending with ‘Two Steps, Twice’, Yannis finally got to spend some quality time in the crowd, literally walking on the hands of adoring fans before concluding the show.

While Big Day Out is now sadly no longer, and neither is The Palace, the venue they performed at when in Melbourne last, Foals continue to thrive and endure. Once again they have shown that they are a juggernaut of a live band. Foals present themselves as a band that are fearless, capable of conquering not just the music scene but the world.

By Holly Pereira / @pseudoholly

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