Exiting Wood Green station and hopping on the shuttle bus behind a sea of floral Hawaiian shirts and lads necking gin tins on a sunny Saturday evening can only mean one thing: Foals are about to play a show at Ally Pally. Heading into the iconic London venue for the group’s second of two special sold-out headline performances, the ten thousand-strong crowd have their double-pint cups at the ready as the lights are lowered and the band take to the stage asking whether or not the crowd can beat the rowdiness of the previous night. And, tbh, they don’t disappoint.
Celebrating March’s fifth album ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1’, Saturday sees Foals mark the second of their biggest headline shows to date with an unflinching 18-song setlist comprising of banger after banger. Playing tracks spanning their entire discography in front of an ever-changing backdrop of dreamlike landscapes and waving palm trees, the night is one big triumphant party honouring the group’s undisputed reign as one of the UK’s most beloved bands for over a decade. With the excitement both on and off stage palpable, they have the crowd hooked from the first strokes of recent drop and show opener ‘On the Luna’ through to thumping follow-up ‘Mountain at My Gates’. When the iconic riff of fan favourite ‘My Number’ starts, pints are thrown metres in the air, and there isn’t one person stood still and not chanting the chorus, before the emotional anthem ‘Spanish Sahara’ flickers with the same electricity as when it first dropped in 2010.
Soaring between older classics and songs from the latest record, Foals don’t take their foot off the accelerator for the whole 90-minute set. When ‘Holy Fire’ lead single ‘Inhaler’ comes around just before the encore, it doesn’t take much persuasion from Yannis Philippakis to convince the entirety of Alexandra Palace to kneel on the floor before jumping up in unison as soon as the drop comes. After a brief moment offstage, they reemerge for the encore, kicking things off with a glimpse into ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost: Part Two’. Introducing new track ‘Black Bull’ as “just a teaser, a taste” of what’s to come, Yannis tears through the opening guitar riff before the electrifying and tumultuous chorus hits the crowd like a tidal wave.
But it’s staple closer ‘Two Steps, Twice’ that is the highlight. As Yannis climbs over the crowd during the extended interlude and the song’s iconic chant begins to build around the packed (and now very sweaty) room, it’s the perfect embodiment of the unfaltering fun and exhilarating excitement that Foals have kept at the forefront from the very beginning. Over the more than 10 years that they’ve been performing, their momentum has not once slowed down and if the ten thousand people singing every single word are anything to go by, it’s not going to anytime soon. As streamers shoot out during the song’s crescendo and the whole of Ally Pally dances along, there is no question that Foals really are forever.