This year is proving to be an extremely ambitious one for Foals; with a two-parter album release and an on-going World tour, the Oxford four-piece are ruthlessly solidifying their status as headliners. After the March release of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part. 1 received critical acclaim, it’s clear that this new album cycle holds arena-sized ambition.

On the first of two nights at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse, it was clear loyal fans had come out in droves despite the heavy rain. Launching straight into new album cut ‘On the Luna’, Yannis and co have the crowd in the palm of their hands from the off. A slightly overlooked track from Part 1 of the album, the catchy tune is enough to prepare the crowd for what is to come. It is swiftly followed by ‘Mountain at My Gates’ – which honestly should have been a part of the encore – and is surprisingly one of the most energetic performances of the night and has the Warehouse completely going off.

Although it’s been six years since the release of Holy Fire, biggest hit ‘My Number’ – which should be old hat by this point – is still arguably the major crowd-pleaser, with even the most chilled out crowd members still having a good old bounce to it. A hidden gem from the new album comes in the form of ‘Syrups’ – an effortlessly cool, riff-heavy track which doesn’t necessarily sound like much to start with, but slow burns until it sounds absolutely huge.

A rowdy ‘Providence’ has the otherwise mellow crowd completely drenched in sweat, but as soon as people are starting to get noisy, they are hit with ‘Spanish Sahara’ – a complete shift in tone which stops even the energy-fuelled few in their tracks. For a song released almost a decade ago, it still manages to grip emotional fans – there are definitely a few criers.

A personal highlight of the night for me is ‘Exits’ – one of the biggest singles from Part 1 and seeing it in Manchester is as mad as expected – it’s definitely going to be one of the most popular tracks in the set for years to come. Similarly, ‘In Degrees’, arguably a bit same-old considering Foals’ ever-morphing sound, is still a great one to dance to.

By the time the encore comes around, the crowd – sweaty and lagging slightly this point – are in desperate need for an energy boost and are immediately perked up by ‘What Went Down’ and ‘Two Steps Twice’ played back to back. Ending the set on an absolute high, Foals manage to reinject the tired crowd with a last burst of liveliness before they could go outside for some much-needed air.

Away from the music itself, a highlight aside would be the gorgeous staging – beginning under a warm sunset framed by palm trees, the backing and the lighting slowly became wilder with every track.

Although the band gave the crowd a decent combination of crowd-pleasers and recent hits, a slight criticism would be that it would’ve been nice to have caught a preview of tracks from Part 2. Saying that, if it sounds anything like Part 1, future sets are going to be insane.

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Sasha Mossman

I'm a first year Multimedia Journalism student at MMU who is terrible at bios.