For those of us who’ve worked HML shows the past few years, each performance can be uniquely described in a simple sentence.
For example: Gillian Welch and David Rawlings? Most intimate and “living room”-y of the Library shows.
Al Jardine of the Beach Boys and Friends? Most festive, celebratory, and, IMO, best of the Library shows.
Fleet Foxes? The show which best resembled attending a multi-colored mass in the woods in a translucent church.
The fact is that everything lined up pretty well for the Fleet Foxes’ 2011 show.
They performed in September, which all but guaranteed immaculate weather. They came equipped with a stunning (but not excessive) lightning rig which radiated clean light as if the Library’s entire redwood grove was spit through a prism (didn’t do drugs at it, I swear.) And most importantly, their sound and the songs, naturally, was perfectly attuned to the aforementioned environment.
It also didn’t hurt that they performed with pitch perfect precision – the complex harmonies were spot-on as if the record itself were playing. How do they do that? (Answer: lots of practice. And talent.)
If you weren’t there, well, sorry about that, but perhaps these amazing photos from Terry Way can help dull the anguish.