The Naked and Famous

The Naked and Famous @ Lincoln Theatre - 11/16/2016

The Naked and Famous @ Lincoln Theatre - 11/16/2016

The Naked and Famous have been known for their fist-in-the-air, 80s new wave-tinged anthems since their 2011 hit single, “Young Blood”. Their latest album, Simple Forms, doubles down on that sound to impressive results. They last played in the DC area this past spring at the more intimate Rock & Roll Hotel to try out some new songs, but with a new album out, they sold out the Lincoln Theatre on their return trip for a night of loud and triumphant music.

“the fury in your head”: Foals at the 9:30 Club, 5/6/11 (with The Naked and Famous, and Freelance Whales)

The world has its beautiful people. We’re all familiar with them. Their perfect faces adorn magazine covers, movie posters, and power-pop stages. Perfect – and perfectly interchangeable.  And then, there are those with the kind of beauty we might never have noticed had it not, say, been scooped up and gifted to us by a Joss Whedon … or appeared to us on a stark stage, adorned only by their sound and their fury. Like Foals at the 9:30 on Friday night.

It’s not that Foals’ recordings aren’t fantastic. They are. They inspired us to purchase our tickets well in advance of the evening’s eventual sell-out. But the recordings, though wonderful, don’t begin to do justice to this band’s true power. On the album, you hear influences, both direct and indirect. Robert Fripp. Talking Heads. A melding of Britain’s old punk and Goth scenes, running straight up from “Ians” Curtis and McCulloch, through Robert Smith, with a bit of a detour through the Islands (at night) and a stop at a dance club or two for good measure. Live, though, the contours of these influences fade. Like the five men who comprise Foals, seemingly dispirit parts become, when combined on stage, a transcendent whole. This transformation is effected, in part, by some mad musical skills, a few powerful personas, and a healthy dose unabashed passion. (Talented drummer Jack Bevan continually leapt from his seat while playing like a drop of water hitting hot oil in a frying pan.) But there’s also alchemy at work here...