Silversun Pickups/Foals/Joywave @CDEC
The statement “rock is dead” has echoed for years and I am sure many could make a case for that. However, on this night, the spirit of rock music was alive and well as Joywave, Foals, and Silversun Pickups rolled into the Cone Denim Entertainment Center in Greensboro, NC. This stacked lineup immediately drew attention as any one of these acts are capable headliners; yet here are, all three together, and what they were able to deliver was a back to back flood of energy driven music.
The evening began as the house music took a quick turn to a much louder play of Drake and Future and as Joywave took the stage, Petey Pablo’s 2001 classic (at least it’s a classic in NC) “Raise Up” came on. The intro was just the band’s first hint at their humorous wit, which is not always at the forefront of their songs, is well evident in their stage presence and through spoof album-releases such as “Swish” (with album art which mocked Kanye West).
From there the band jumped into their set, which while short, showcased songs from their 2015 album How Do You Feel Now.
The stage at the Cone Denim Entertainment Center is of normal size, yet on this night with all three bands gear set up on stage it left a pretty tight fit for the four piece band of Joywave and so the keyboard player was positioned off stage right up in the balcony seats.
The tight fit did not prevent a lively and and interactive performance as vocalist Daniel Armbruster jumped around and even brought the crowd to a crouch during a down moment. Joywave grabbed the audience’s attention early on and as they concluded what they called their “half hour of power,” their performance showed that they were much more than just the openers.
Downtime between each set moved pretty quickly and the house music built into an interesting hypnotic buzz that reached a climax right as Foals burst onto the stage and broke into “Snake Oil” from their latest album What Went Down.
Foals delivered a musically tight set that started with a bang through the first three songs and really had the crowd moving with “My Number,” and then mellowed things out for just a bit through the middle of their set, only to bring the energy back to a peak near the end of the set with “Inhaler” and, the banger, “What Went Down.”
Frontman and vocalist Yannis Philippakis made his way out into crowd on more than one occasion but based off what I have read from other stops on this tour may have been ever so slightly more reserved here in Greensboro.
No matter, Yannis and the rest of Foals left a happy crowd and would be a tough act to follow on many occasions, but not so much this night.
I’ll be honest, I was at this show to see Foals. I have listened to Silversun Pickups throughout their discography and I knew they put on a good shows, but I just was more excited for Foals. My non-enthusiasm was quickly turned on it’s head as the band took the stage and broke into “Cradle (Better Nature)” from the band’s latest release Better Nature. The groove and the intensity that the band delivers into each song, especially the loud and fast ones, leave no doubt why the CDEC was a packed house this night. The band tore through the longest set of the night and, much like the previous two, started loud and fast with a little mellow in the middle only to finish on a strong note as they played songs that covered their discography but seemed to highlight their latest album. Main vocalist and guitarist Brian Aubert led their set and took a quick moment to remark on their opposition to NC House Bill 2 about mid way through and mentioned the group Youthsafe that were presenting information at the door. Aubert’s comments were short and to the point, but were not the only for the evening as he engaged the crowd on a couple of occasions; he spoke directly to an audience member in the balcony that was hidden to us on the floor but he could see was having a good time. So it was true, Silversun Pickups delivered one hell of a performance and while my excitement level may have started on a more mellow note, I was definitely amped up by the end of their set.
Catch them on tour: