Continuing a wave of sold out shows in town on the heels of tours returning from their planned starts in 2020, First Avenue filled out Tuesday night for a smorgasbord of acclaimed indie goodness. A triple threat lineup of Michigander, Foxing and the ever-magnificent Manchester Orchestra brought together a night of self-reflective, soulful indie rock that will be difficult to top for some time.
Opener Michigander, hailing from Detroit, kicked the night off with a more pop-punk oriented batch of songs than the more alternative leaning other two bands. Crooning melodies and introspective lyrics combined with some fantastically emotive guitar playing for an explosive half hour.
Following them were critical darlings Foxing, finally able to tour on their newest album Draw Down the Moon. Vocalist Conor Murphy noted their immense appreciation for being able to play at First Avenue, a storied venue, with such a big crowd. The band channeled that appreciation into a searing performance. Foxing are well know for their unforgettable live shows and this one was no different- Murphy puts every ounce of himself into his time onstage, practically shredding his vocal chords as he careens between beautiful croons and blistering screams. Playing tracks from their last few albums, they ended their set with Nearer My God, a testament to trying to find a sense of identity in an increasingly impersonal world.
Last up were Manchester Orchestra. Andy Hull and co. have been around the block for coming up on 20 years, essentially earning a reputation for being the fine wine of Indie rock as they continue to get better and better with age. Hull’s unmistakable falsetto filled the space of First Avenue like a sorrowful howl, effortlessly performing even more earnestly and powerfully than on record. Their combination of tracks across the spectrum of their discography allowed for a show that was both dynamic and consistent, managing to change up in sound but circling back to the same powerful core of these seasoned musicians. Truly an incredibly memorable band to see live.