Since Oxford-based Foals released debut album Antidotes in 2008 they’ve broken boundaries and rules aplenty. Last night it was no different as they played Newcastle’s O2 Academy.
All over the venue are signs stating not to crowd surf as it will get you thrown out. Front-man Yannis Philippakis defied these rules and spent more time in the crowd than on stage during the three song encore. At one point he was at the back bar downing a shot through their closing song Two Steps Twice.
Throughout the gig Philippakis came up to the front barrier as the rest of the band ripped through a 14 hit set list playing tracks from all four of their studio albums.
Foals certainly lived up to their reputation as being on of the UK’s most exciting live bands. They opened with Snake Oil and from the moment that the first note was struck, the band were greeted with adoration from a sell out crowd.
The party really started though when one of the better known tracks, Holy Fire’s indie classic My Number, was played. There were fans on shoulders and stray arms cutting shapes in the tightly packed crowd.
It is no surprise that Foals instantly sold out Newcastle’s O2 Academy. Foals have ‘outgrown’ their academy status with the latest album What Went Down.
Mountain At My Gates is atmospheric enough to fill arenas and this was demonstrated earlier in the year when they played a surprise set at Reading and Leeds Festival.
The highlight of the evening came when Total Life Forever mellow masterpiece Spanish Sahara gave fans a brief moment of relaxation before breaking into an alt-rock second half. Newcastle’s audience clapped along beautifully to the beat of Jack Bevan’s drums.
Foals left the stage after playing my personal favourite Inhaler. This is another track that would tear arenas apart, they are playing a string of arena dates in February of 2016.
When the band returned to play Hummer, What Went Down and Two Steps, Twice fans were treated to a face full of Yannis Philippakis. After seeing videos of him crowd-surfing to Two Steps, Twice at recent gigs it was a surprise when he entered briefly during What Went Down.
There was worry that this would be the end for Foals’ set before the distinctive, alt-rock, Antidotes belter of Two Steps, Twice left the Academy rocking.
Support came from Real Lies. A band that the crowd didn’t really get in to and left the stage to the relief of many who had endured their set.