PICS: Fleet Foxes at the Observatory North Park

'Helplessness blues' be gone: Fleet Foxes made their long-awaited return to San Diego with a magnificent show at the Observatory North Park on Sept. 21, with Natalie Prass in tow.

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It's been four long years in between albums, but the Washington band is finally back on the road again in support of their latest effort "Crack-Up."
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The Thursday night show sold out immediately after it went on sale months ago.
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The indie/experimental folk group now consists of vocalist/guitarist Robin Pecknold, guitarist Skyler Skjelset (pictured left), multi-instrumentalist Casey Wescott, bassist/vocalist Christian Wargo, multi-instrumentalist Morgan Henderson (pictured right) and touring drummer Matt Barrick (from the Walkmen).
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The band got its start in Kirkland, Washington in 2006 by Pecknold and Skjelset when they attended Lake Washington High School together. Fun fact: They originally went by the name "The Pineapples," which they then had to change when they found out another local band was using the name. Pecknold has said about the Fleet Foxes name, that it was "evocative of some weird English activity like fox hunting."
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The group released their debut self-titled EP in 2006 and by late 2007, had attracted more than a quarter of a million song plays over two months on Myspace (remember Myspace?).
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Word of mouth exposure proved to work to the band's advantage -- their homegrown success translated into a record deal with Warner Bros. subsidiary Sub Pop in 2008.
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Their second EP, "Sun Giant," was released via Sub Pop on April 8, 2008 and it was critically acclaimed by the press. It was around that time that Josh Tillman, now known to most music fans as Father John Misty, joined the band on drums.
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It was followed shortly thereafter by their debut full-length album (also self-titled) on June 3. Pitchfork gave it a 9.0 out of 10 in their review. The Guardian declared it "a landmark in American music -- an instant classic."
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After several delays, the band's second LP "Helplessness Blues" was released on May 3, 2011. During the group's 2012 tour, Tillman announced he was leaving the band to focus on his Father John Misty solo endeavor. "Helplessness Blues" was nominated for Best Folk Album at the 2012 Grammy Awards. In 2014, Pecknold announced that he had moved to NYC and was attending the Columbia University School of General Studies -- effectively putting Fleet Foxes on hold.
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After three years of near-silence, the band announced their third studio album "Crack-Up" would be released on June 16 of this year -- with a tour to boot. Needless to say, it's good to have them back!
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Their Sept. 21 show featured the following set list: "I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar," "Cassius,-" "-Naiads, Cassadies," "Grown Ocean," "Ragged Wood," "Your Protector," "The Cascades," "Mearcstapa," "On Another Ocean (January/June)," "Fool's Errand," "He Doesn't Know Why," "Battery Kinzie"...
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Followed by "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song," "Mykonos," "White Winter Hymnal," "Third of May/Odaigahara," "The Shrine/An Argument," "Blue Ridge Mountains," "Blues Run the Game" (Jackson C. Frank cover), and "Helplessness Blues." They then played a three-song encore of "Montezuma," "Oliver James" and "Crack-Up."
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Natalie Prass and her band opened the show.
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The singer/songwriter attended Berklee College of Music for a year before transferring to Middle Tennessee State University in 2006. There, she enrolled in a songwriting program.
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Prass would release her debut EP, "Small & Sweet," in 2009 and a followup titled "Sense of Transcendence" in 2011.
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After auditioning with a video demo on her iPhone, she landed a keyboardist spot for Jenny Lewis' touring band.
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Prass released her self-titled debut album on Jan. 27, 2015 via Spacebomb (on Columbia Records). Pitchfork hailed it as one of its Best New Albums. In April of this year, she posted on Instagram that her sophomore full-length has been tracked and mixed -- and should be out soon!
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