Reviewed Sunday September 29

Perhaps Sunday night concertgoers are more inclined to turn up early than their party-going Saturday night brethren, but Alpine were greeted by an already-impressive crowd when they took to the Enmore stage. Lead singers Phoebe Baker and Lou James have an easy, energetic chemistry and seemed genuinely delighted with the size of the crowd as they bantered with each other.

 

Their energy rubbed off quickly on the crowd, as familiar hits such as ‘Hands’ and ‘Gasoline’ from Alpine’s debut album turned into joyous sing-alongs. James in particular seemed very animated, bouncing around stage while the carefree pop and vocal harmonies served as a perfect Sunday evening entree.

 

As fans waited for Foals to take the stage, a buzzing sense of anticipation came over the venue. The band had wowed Sydney audiences in January with a pair of fantastic gigs at the Oxford Art Factory and after the release of the brilliant Holy Fire record, expectations were high.

 

It proved to be a triumphant return, with the packed crowd hooked from the moment Foals took the stage and the opening bars of ‘Prelude’ rang out. The Oxford quintet has mastered their own brand of upbeat indie rock, creating a massive sound that filled the theatre for new songs or old.

 

After hit single ‘My Number’ had the crowd singing along, the slow build of fan favourite ‘Spanish Sahara’ sent them into a frenzy. Almost silent in between songs, frontman Yannis Philippakis made up for his lack of banter by bringing an unbridled, aggressive energy that had the crowd eating out of his hand.

 

Foals saved their best for the encore, lifting the performance into the realms of the truly great gigs with the stunning assault of ‘Inhaler’ before traditional closer ‘Two Steps, Twice’ sent the ecstatic crowd into the night. The only downer of the evening was the Enmore security guards preventing Philippakis from launching himself off the top balcony and into the crowd during the encore, much to the disappoint of the adoring fans below. But it was a minor quibble on a great night, as the gig proved Foals are continuing to grow into one of the best live bands around.

 

Keiron Costello

 

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