Posted in music | pictures on September 26, 2011

words by Andrew Sacher, photos by Toby Tenenbaum

The Walkmen
Fleet Foxes

The night began with a great opening set from The Walkmen at Williamsburg Waterfront on Saturday (9/24). The set was made up largely of the band's calmer songs and hit an interesting point during the galloping "Blue As Your Blood," when lead singer Hamilton Leithauser crooned, "The sky above is blue as your blood." Everyone and their cell phone cameras turned around to find that the sky above was actually a really intensely vibrant orange.

At around 7:50 PM, Fleet Foxes walked out onto the stage before the sold out Williamsburg Waterfront and after a shout out to The Walkmen, drifted into the lifting psych folk of "The Plains/Bitter Dancer." Since I last saw Fleet Foxes they've added a sixth member (their lineup now includes Morgan Henderson, formerly of The Blood Brothers), and are able to flesh out their set with even more layers of instrumentation than on their earlier tours. Morgan brings an array of woodwinds and string instruments to the band's sound and helps create more space for the other members to rotate between different instruments as well.

After opening with one of the strongest songs on Helplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes took us back with two Sun Giant tracks, "Mykonos" and "English House," before returning to their more recent material. The new and old songs fit together perfectly in a live setting. This came across most prominently when Robin Pecknold's performance of "Montezuma" was accompanied only by the lush vocal harmonies of his bandmates until they returned to their instruments on the last chord of the song, leading directly into "He Doesn't Know Why." Fleet Foxes hit their highest peak in the set with their 8-minute psych-prog opus "The Shine/An Argument." Beginning with Robin's delicate acoustic guitar and gentle vocals, the song slowly began to build as Robin howled, "Sunlight over me, no matter what I do," and harmonies floated into the mix. On the first hit of J. Tillman's thundering drums which drive the song's second passage, shapeshifting psychedelic visuals took over the screen that hung on the stage's backdrop. Robin and Co. added in tremendous harmonies secured by the "In the morning" refrain, which eventually meandered off into the song's third passage, complete with images of green apple trees and Morgan Henderson's fantastic avant-sax solo. The song eventually faded into "Blue Spotted Tail" which, after the otherworldly ending of "The Shrine/An Argument," felt like a return to reality led by unanswerable questions like, "Why is life made only for to end?"

After playing "Grown Ocean," Fleet Foxes left the stage and after a short break, Robin returned by himself to play a new song that he had finished a few weeks ago. He was then joined by the rest of his band for three more songs including, "Sun It Rises," the much anticipated "Blue Ridge Mountains," and recent single "Helplessness Blues."

More pictures, videos, and setlist from the show below...

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Fleet Foxes - "White Winter Hymnal" at Williamsburg Waterfront 9/24/11

Fleet Foxes - "Battery Kinzie" at Williamsburg Waterfront 9/24/11

Fleet Foxes Setlist:
The Plains/Bitter Dancer
Mykonos
English House
Battery Kinzie
Bedouin Dress
Sim Sala Bim
Your Protector
White Winter Hymnal
Ragged Wood
Montezuma
He Doesn't Know Why
Lorelai
The Shrine/An Argument
Blue Spotted Tail
Grown Ocean

Encore:
New Song
Sun It Rises
Blue Ridge Mountains
Helplessness Blues
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Comments (48)

ff slayed it!!

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:16 PM

^ No they didn't.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:16 PM

Totally! Best show to what could be the last of the waterfront shows!

Posted by Jen | September 26, 2011 12:17 PM

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/img/music/walkmen/williamsburgwaterfront/12.jpg

What happened to the "I'd hit it" guy? This would be a prime reason to bring that back.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:20 PM

love the pictures of the cracks in the concrete.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:23 PM

Any Walkmen setlist???

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:26 PM

Too bad it there wasn't a gentle autumn rain to bathe all these crusty filth riddled beautiful motherfuckers.

Posted by Bjorn | September 26, 2011 12:29 PM

great pix

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:29 PM

i love the walkmen but why do they all coordinate outfits. "okay everyone has to wear a blazer or suit jacket"

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:34 PM

Really solid pics

Posted by Evan | September 26, 2011 12:39 PM

FF suck.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:43 PM

anyone hating on Fleet Foxes were obviously not at this show

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:45 PM

walkmen setlist?

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:46 PM

Is Battery Kinzie a Mr. Big cover?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QD5n98R_nk

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:47 PM

best show of the year!

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:52 PM

that walkmen review is awful. write me something, ANYTHING about the show. what songs did they play? they've been playing "blue as your blood" every night for 4 years. you have told me absolutely nothing of this show.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:56 PM

Brooklyn Brewery rules.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 12:58 PM

@12:56 reviewer doesnt know anything about or by the walkmen - only that they are cool. so they said they were "great" to be safe, and then on to the band they learned about on facebook.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 1:03 PM

The Walkmen sounded good but I find their music to be boring as fuck. Fleet Foxes also sounded good but they need to work on the transitions and the "show" aspect of their live performance. It's almost like watching your local band of hippies play the lounge in your dorm room freshman year.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 1:08 PM

I see chicks, but not with any hipsters.

So much for the credibility of the "sausage fest" posters.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 1:12 PM

1:08 - interesting you mention their transitions since many of the songs would segue into the next seamlessly. They stopped between tunes like 4 or 5 times in the whole set.

And their projections were really great.

Obviously, their music isn't best appreciated with 5-7 thousand other people but I thought the sound was the best I've ever heard at the waterfront.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 1:15 PM

1:15,

I'm 1:08 (we really need to get rid of these anonymous comments but whatever). I see your point, I think I'm speaking more about how there was a ton of stopping, broken strings, etc. Totally understand how that happens but, when you start playing 5-6k capacity places, I feel like they should work a little bit more to seemlessly transition as I noticed only a few of those. I could just be too nit-picky but, compared to Elbow who I saw the next night, they're still a young band who is crafting their live show.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 1:35 PM

nobody said this was a sausage fest. that was at the descendents show.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 1:37 PM

Robin Pecknold looks like he's really into the music

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 1:55 PM

the new song is called "I Let You"

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 3:52 PM

So FF are borrowing Iron and Wine's wind instruments and Band Of Horses' projection images also now? FFuckthisshit

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 3:57 PM

Um, Iron and Wine didn't invent wind instruments. And the projections reminded me a lot of Sean Pecknold's music video for fleet foxes from like 2008. Whatever. Fleet Foxes are very unique.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 6:41 PM

The Fleet Foxes show was great, the sound was really good. However, the crowd sucked. It was a bunch of people standing around trying to look cool by not letting on that they were enjoying themselves. I get FF is not the best type of music to dance to, but don't be damn zombie.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 6:41 PM

maybe they really weren't enjoying themselves? i was there and bored

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 7:55 PM

These fakes are the Exploited for "indie"
Indie is Dead

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 8:29 PM

@7:55 why were you bored?

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 8:33 PM

meh

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2011 11:48 PM

walkmehn

Posted by Anonymous | September 27, 2011 12:02 AM

So this was a show mostly for the fauxhemian people who recently bought or rent those condos towers this way no one complained about the show because it was basically background noise to most of them.
And no scary balloons around.

Posted by Anonymous | September 27, 2011 2:22 AM

I spent the summer on my back.

Posted by Anonymous | September 27, 2011 4:55 AM

6:41: Not surprised. Say what you will about the so-called "sausage fests" at the metal shows, at least they're ENJOYING themselves.

Posted by Anonymous | September 27, 2011 9:15 AM

I was at this show with my wife. I am a drummer. I love FF... the vocals were on point, but I noticed the drummer slowing down a lot. I thought maybe it was just me being a snobby drummer, but then my wife chimed in and said, "the drummer sounds like he's slowing down a lot." Then I knew it must be really noticeable. Other than that, I thought it was pretty awesome...especially that sunset!

Posted by slow down | September 27, 2011 12:50 PM

How has no one commented on when the lead singer came on stage and about 2 songs in said: "Did everyone have a nice brunch today? Fucking brunch, what a to-do, huh?" Dude just outed himself as the King of Brunchcore!!!1!!!111!

Posted by Anonymous | September 27, 2011 2:26 PM

Fleet Foxes are a cracker jack combo. So sorry that I missed this fine show. As far as the brunch comment, I think that is code for general audience disdain.

Posted by Anonymous | September 27, 2011 2:35 PM

Yea, and how bout when they called out the people up on the balcony of those ugly ass buildings? There was thousands of people looking up at them and I don't think they realized what was going on. So, did anyone else feel the weird tempo changes or am I the only one? It was like, as soon as they slammed in to a big part of a song, the tempo just dropped...or was that just my brain on weed and Brooklyn Lager making me think that?

Posted by slow down | September 27, 2011 2:52 PM

Brunchcore about sums it up! Mimosa naps

Posted by Anonymous | September 27, 2011 4:38 PM

2:26 noone commented on that because it was the drummer who said it.

Posted by Drummer | September 28, 2011 1:13 PM

2:26 yeah asshole get your facts right the drumer not the lead singer.

Posted by Anonymous | September 28, 2011 9:47 PM

To everyone there yelling song requests and yelling at unnecessary times, thanks for ruining some moments during the show. I know sometimes we can all get too drunk and forget we're not at a Jimmy Buffet concert.

Posted by Anonymous | September 29, 2011 2:44 PM

I'd hit it.

Posted by Anonymous | October 1, 2011 12:40 AM

The crowd looks healthy and attractive. Where were the hipsters?

Posted by Anonymous | October 12, 2011 4:03 PM

I wish I could be here.

Posted by tim | August 18, 2013 8:21 PM

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