The Riv // Chicago, IL // April 27, 2019
I’d never seen someone jump from the balcony at The Riv until now.
The last time I saw Foals was the night after Trump won the election. No one at that show was happy; the atmosphere was angry and defeated. I’d never heard of this British rock band back in 2016, and I had to wait until the last three songs to shoot their set instead of the standard first three. I was furious I had to sit through that show before Foals came onstage. By the time the show was over, I was in love with the band and was so glad I stayed for the whole thing.
Recently, Foals played another sold out show at The Riv, and the circumstances were once again less than desirable. Standing outside the venue on one of the last days of April, fans were whipped in the face with giant snowflakes. Every time the wind picked up, everyone collectively groaned or shrieked in frustration. This time, however, I didn’t mind the pre-show annoyances. I was excited that I would get to watch nearly the entire show before going into the photo pit. And I left with that same energy and love I had over two years ago.
As Yannis and the crew made their way onstage, the entire balcony stood up in unison and would stay standing for the rest of the show. They opened the show with “On the Luna”, a track from their new album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost-Part 1. The second part of this two album epic will be released in the fall (and hopefully they’ll come back ASAP to play it!) For those fans who hadn’t quite caught up with the new album, they played some of their classic songs, like “Mountain at my Gates” and “Spanish Sahara”. As the set progressed, the band got more and more energetic, with Yannis jumping in the crowd several times and running to the back of The Riv to jam with the fans who weren’t at the front.
The peak of the show (and the moment where my heart nearly stopped) came during one of the band’s biggest tracks and the penultimate song for the night, “What Went Down”. Yannis left the stage and made his way to the opera boxes, where he played guitar and stared up into the highest parts of the balcony. Knowing what was coming up, I made sure I had my camera settings just right as he took off his guitar and motioned to the crowd below. And just like that, he leapt backwards off the balcony into the arms of his fans. It was the absolute perfect way to end the show, and Foals made an even bigger fan out of me than before.
Foals continue their tour in Europe this May, with a ton of UK dates towards the end of the month. Tickets and more info HERE.