Before Robin Pecknold came on, festival organizer and the National guitarist Bryce Dessner told a story about how his band became familiar with the Fleet Foxes. The National missed their show at Sasquatch and let the Fleet Foxes fill in for them. Then, Bryce said, a few months later the Fleet Foxes were “the biggest band in the world.” After finally getting to see a full set of Robin Pecknold’s, it’s easy to see why.
I’m not the biggest Fleet Foxes fan in the world, but I’m fairly sure the majority of his set was new material that will be on the next Fleet Foxes record. And it was upon hearing these songs for the first time that I remarked how weird it is that there’s such a remarkable difference between “good” and “great.” I see a lot of concerts, and for a solo guy with an acoustic guitar playing songs I don’t know to completely blow me out of the water is just about unheard of. But Robin’s performance was just about at a Jim James level of fantastic, but without the added bonus of me being a huge fan who knew every song he was playing. I just guess that when you’re great, you’re great.
Robin seemed slightly nervous during his set, but charmingly so. He opened up by asking if anyone had been a victim of a Nigerian scammer. Apparently his email was hacked by someone who proceeded to email all his friends and ask for money. Bummer of a story that was made even worse when a shout from his sister revealed that it was his birthday. But luckily he got to spend it with a few hundred adoring fans who spent the next half hour listening to his new songs, so that’s got to be a pretty nice way to spend your birthday.
More photos after the break