ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Oct. 3, 2008
Fleet FoxesSaturday, Sept. 27, Zilker Park
"We're not really a festival band," offered Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold from the stage, but the Seattle quintet aptly demonstrated it was, in fact, worthy of the label. The group's beatific harmonies rose simultaneously haunting and spiritually dazzling in the early afternoon sun, "Sun It Rises" and "Sun Giant" bursting forth in a dulcet glow. With Skyler Skjelset bowing his guitar through "Drops in the River," Pecknold unleashed his gentle, high, lonesome wail, the familiar touches of My Morning Jacket ("English House") and even Band of Horses ("Ragged Wood") suggesting the promise behind Fleet Foxes' sound, while "Mykonos" tilted toward Neil Young. The band's banter with the crowd was amusingly informal, as was Pecknold's flannel commitment to their Northwest image despite the heat, but the harmonies of "Quiet Houses," Pecknold's solo turn on "Oliver James," and closer "Blue Ridge Mountains" were as sublime as they are on album.