Sydney - Wednesday 1 March, 2017. Folk-rock masters Fleet Foxes will premiere new material from their highly anticipated third album for Australian audiences exclusively at the Sydney Opera House when they make their long-awaited return for Vivid LIVE in May this year as part of Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.
Five years since their last, life affirming shows, the band have chosen Vivid LIVE for their return to the stage, performing over four nights in the Opera House Concert Hall.
Due to the expected high demand, tickets will be allocated by ballot (details below).
Fleet Foxes' Vivid LIVE performances are exclusive to Vivid Sydney and their only Australian shows for 2017, following sold-out ballots for Morrissey (2015) and Kraftwerk's 3D Catalogue retrospective (2013), as well as Anohni’s immersive and sense-shifting performance Hopelessness (2016).
The five-piece ensemble rose to prominence in the vanguard of a new wave of folk music in the 2000s, alongside fellow Opera House alumni including Sufjan Stevens, Joanna Newsom, Bon Iver, Bill Callahan and The Decemberists.
The band returns to Sydney Opera House with a refreshed line-up featuring Robin Pecknold (vocals, guitar), Skyler Skjelset (guitar), Christian Wargo (bass), Morgan Henderson (multiple instruments) and Casey Wescott (piano). In addition to the core-band, their Vivid LIVE performances will feature additional players including Matthew Barrick (drums).
Fleet Foxes' debut self-titled album, released in 2008, was billed in Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Albums of the 2000’s, while White Winter Hymnal also made Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Songs of the 2000’s. In December the same year, the Sun Giant EP and their self-titled LP together shared the title of Pitchforks #1 album(s) of 2008.
Their second full-length album, Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop/Inertia) was released in 2011 to critical acclaim and propelled them to No. 6 in the Australian national charts (No. 2 in the UK and No. 4 in the US) confirming their status as a true crossover success story.
Almost a decade after leading the new-folk revolution, Fleet Foxes will bring their fevered dynamism and signature harmonies to the Concert Hall stage and demonstrate once more why they are indeed a band for the ages.
Robin Pecknold said, “We are unbelievably excited to perform songs from our new album, and to revisit songs from across our catalogue, at the Sydney Opera House in May. In this time, when all action towards unity is vital, our means of engendering union is through music, collective communal performance, on any stage that will have us, and there is no better stage in the world than the Opera House. We really hope to see you there.”
With the new album expected very soon, Robin Pecknold has created a playlist of artists and songs that inspired Fleet Foxes whilst writing the forthcoming new album.
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer and Vivid Sydney Executive Producer Sandra Chipchase said, “Vivid Sydney continues to attract the world’s best musicians to our city each year. The calibre of artists performing at the festival is testament to its success. I encourage all music fans to plan their trip to Sydney to see internationally acclaimed US band Fleet Foxes when they premiere their new material at these four exclusive Sydney shows.”
Vivid LIVE, now in its ninth year, will be the third curated by Ben Marshall, the Opera House’s Head of Contemporary Music. For Vivid LIVE, Marshall has programmed iconic artists and projects such as Anohni, Bon Iver ‘Cercle’, New Order + ACO, Max Richter ‘Sleep’, Kraftwerk, Lauryn Hill, Sufjan Stevens and Morrissey. Ben’s year-round contemporary music program features Underworld, Kasabian, Andrew Bird, James Vincent McMorrow, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, The Lumineers and Mary J. Blige. The stages of the World Heritage-listed building have also held Brian Wilson, D’Angelo, The National, Florence + the Machine, Tame Impala and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.
Ben Marshall, Curator of Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House said, “It’s a big moment for us to welcome back Fleet Foxes to the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall stage for Vivid LIVE. Having ended their Helplessness Blues tour here five years ago across three unforgettable sold-out nights, they’ve chosen to premiere their new & fiercely anticipated third album on the very same stage. Like past key Vivid LIVE artists Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes are taking a 4-night Vivid LIVE residency and bringing something special to Sydney for their only Australian performances for 2017. A dramatic and powerful live proposition, Robin Pecknold’s spectral tenor and euphonic, melancholy melodies are something to behold in the Concert Hall and this act’s blazing ambition and restlessness will be on grand display in one of this year’s absolute musical highlights.”
The full program for Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House will be announced at the Vivid Sydney program launch this month: vividsydney.com / vividlive.sydneyoperahouse.com
Important Ticketing Information
An application process has been implemented for Fleet Foxes’ only Australian shows at Vivid LIVE, in anticipation of high demand and to ensure everyone has an equal chance to make applications over a five-day period. This will minimise website congestion and distribute tickets to fans across time zones, states and countries. Successful applicants will be notified via email with a link to purchase tickets between 10am - 4pm (AEDT) Friday 10 March. Unsuccessful applicants will not receive a link to purchase, however will be automatically added to a waitlist in the event of a later release of tickets.
Tickets can be applied for anytime between Wednesday 1 March 2017 (6:00am AEDT) and Sunday 5 March 2017 (11:59pm AEDT). Successful applicants will be chosen at random from within the allocations designated for visitors and locals.
Only online applications will be accepted. Applications cannot be accepted over the phone or in person.