Anywhere near downtown Tulsa Sunday night it was clear that something major was going on at a concert venue near you. While the majority of the downtown traffic aligned for the sold out Katy Perry show at the BOK Center, Cain’s Ballroom had a sold out show of their own. Winning the traffic battle to reach Cain’s before the show it seemed the audience was just as much looking forward to seeing The Walkmen as they were the Fleet Foxes.
However, before the night even began we were warned that The Walkmen’s set would be short due to an Austin City Limits commitment Monday afternoon for both groups. It played as advertised.
The Walkmen short set was decent from this reporter’s perspective and their fans said it was satisfying – kind of, well almost, like really wanting to talk to someone on an escalator going the opposite direction. Good to see them, but dang that was quick.
The Walkmen Photo Gallery
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
Followers and fans of Fleet Foxes waited patiently. Fleet Foxes has been an indie hit since the arrival of their first self titled album in 2008. The album, only forty minutes in length, will leave a hole in your heart and a yearning for more. The baroque pop/folk rock offering begs to be played over and over again. Such songs as “Sun It Rises”, “White Winter Hymnal”, and “Blue Ridge Mountains” have accelerated the band’s success to a massive worldwide phenomenon capable of selling out venues, including Cain’s, across the country.
Originally Pineapple before a name conflict forced them to Fleet Foxes, the group consists of six members including; lead vocalist Robin Pecknold on lead guitar, Skyler Skjelset on guitar and mandolin, Christian Wargo on bass guitar and vocals, Joshua Tillman on drums and vocals, and lastly Morgan Henderson who plays a variety of instruments and backup vocals during certain arrangements.
The house lights went down at 8:50 and the crowd moved close as opening chords of “Plains/Bitter Dancer” launched what became a frenzy. Those in line for beverages immediately hurried back. Though the fan age range varied greatly and most visibly by attire, but all were in for an exciting evening.
As the songs rolled on Fleet Foxes treated the crowd to their new album “Helplessness Blues” including “Montezuma”, “Sim Sala Bim”, and “Bedouin Dress.” Thirty minutes into the show the pouring rain was pounding onto the Cain’s roof and random thunderclaps punched powerful highlights. God and Mother Nature seemed to play along.
Fleet Foxes Photo Gallery
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
The final notes of “Grown Ocean” played and the band slowly left the stage, but the crowd broke into chants. They would not be silenced until Pecknold, looking somewhat amazed, returned to note how energetically demanding this Tulsa crowd really was – yes, we do that here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We like good music with good people – how about you?
In the encore, the band led with even more energy. Apparently setting aside any planned reserve for the pending Austin City Limits festival the next day, the ensemble closed the night with “Helplessness Blues.”
With sympathy for what may be an exhausted Austin performance, Tulsans enjoyed this show and fans look forward to a return visit – demanding as we may be.