If the streets of Williamsburg felt a little empty the past two nights, it’s not because The Rapture struck New York’s hipster elite a few days early. The real culprit for the L-train exodus: cult favorite Fleet Foxes, which played two sold-out shows way, WAY uptown at the massive United Palace Theater venue Wednesday and Thursday night. The converted movie theater (which has been characterized as “Byzantine-Romanesque-Indo-Hindu-Sino-Moorish-Persian-Eclectic-Rococo-Deco” ) holds 3,293 people — that’s an awful lot of facial-haired, horn-rimmed glasses-wearing 20-somethings migrating to the northern tip of the city.
The six members of Fleet Foxes fit that description to a tee, but the Portland-based band’s image took a backseat to what these guys are really known for: lush, pure acapella harmonies coasting seamlessly into a neverending rotation of string instruments (which – impressingly – several members of the band often switched mid-song).
“We just randomly met Art Garfunkel,” frontman Robin Pecknold told the audience after a few opening songs. “He was like, ‘Hey there, I heard you guys have been copying my style…”