Progressive emo act Foxing are headed off to Europe, but graced the U.S. northeast with this quick four-day tour first, wrapping it in Allston, Massachusetts. It was a hot ticket; they sold out the 476-cap Brighton Music Hall, and there was at one least desperate person outside begging for extras well above face value as I arrived.
Foxes in Fiction was in the midst of his set when I walked in. Knowing very little about the openers, I heard some AutoTuned vocals as I walked over that instantly reminded me of Bon Iver, and it turned out that FiF was a solo act with their own backing tracks. The vocals were actually sort of similar to Foxing’s slower moments in some respects, but the music was more on the ambient side.
Yohuna followed up, a band that includes a frontperson with the same name, as well as FiF themselves. They played a very melodic, somewhat dreamy indie pop style, with higher-pitched vocals in the mix, with plenty of lush layers being they had at least four or five people on stage. There were definitely some shoegaze undertones here and there, too.
Foxing came onto loud cheers and surprised us all by opening with a new song. The internet refers to it as “Nah Man”, which must be a working title someone saw on a setlist perhaps. It was very different for them: R&B and soul-influenced to the point where I wasn’t quite sure if it was a new Foxing song or a Prince cover, honestly. Murphy flitted about the stage even more than he usually does as they grooved through the song. They’d treat us to two other new songs as well, “Buttery Gold” and “Bastardizer”, one of which sounded like kind of a throwback to label alum Deja Entendu-era Brand New with frontman Conor Murphy getting on the acoustic guitar (which is funny, since “Indica” reminds me so much of “Jesus”). It sounds like they’ll be recording their new album when they return from their Europe tour, and from the sneak previews we got it sounds like it’ll be another strong and especially diverse effort, not to mention an interesting progression and adventuring into new genres and territory in general.
The rest of the set was a steady of mix of old and newer, playing some of the highlights off 2015’s very excellent Dealer and half of their fan favorite LP debut, The Albatross. Not that they ever really fail to deliver, but it was really an emotionally charged performance as much as ever, complete with Murphy hopping on the trumpet to righteous approval. This was the first time I’ve seen them headline a somewhat bigger show (they appeared at the Middle East Upstairs a couple years ago before Dealer came out), and they more or less knocked it out of the park, filling the larger room with their signature atmosphere and affecting anguish while professing sincere gratitude to the sold-out crowd for snatching up every ticket.
Set list (9:40-10:46):
- new song [“Nah Man” on the setlist possibly?]
- Glass Coughs
- The Magdalene
- The Medic
- new song [“Buttery Gold”?]
- new song [“Bastardizer”?]
- Bit by a Dead Bee Pt. 1
- Bit by a Dead Bee Pt. 2
- Night Channels
- Three on a Match