Fleet Foxes Nearly Ignite Hippie-on-Hipster War

Photo: Everett Bogue

Yesterday, the lumberjack-looking men of Fleet Foxes labored mightily indeed: Their late-night set at Union Hall was the Seattle group’s third full show of the day, and given that three of the four sing or harmonize nearly every line, it’s a small wonder that they were sucking down Halls, not beers, post-gig. They were nicely warmed up, in any case. Hirsute front man Robin Pecknold drew more than a few shouted comparisons to Jesus as he rendered his vocals with bell-like clarity, and the crowd sighed audibly (and a perhaps little awkwardly) with pleasure after each ballad. One sensed, however, a little crankiness.

When Pecknold compared the venue to an underground Communist lair, and some in attendance unleashed anarchist battle cries (“Let’s burn it down!”), drummer Josh Tillman responded with a little snark. “Except here it would be ‘let’s carry our tote bags,’” he piped up. “This is Brooklyn.” After a volley of boos (and someone’s threat to “open a tote bag full of ‘whoop ass’”), Tillman claimed he was just good-naturedly pointing out the similarities between his hippie hometown and Park Slope. People didn’t seem to buy it. “Oh well,” said Tillman, entirely obscured behind his woolly bandleader. “Thank God none of you can see what I look like.” —Sarah Maslin Nir