Fleet Foxes back in Cleveland, finally, at Agora in July

It’s been a quiet few days for concert announcements, which gives me the chance to highlight one from a few weeks ago that has me pretty excited.

Since the release of the band’s third album, “Crack-Up,” last year, I’ve seen many concert dates announced for Fleet Foxes but none in Greater Cleveland. They’ll play what I believe to be their first show in Cleveland since a wonderful set in September 2011 at the Masonic Auditorium when they perform at the Agora on July 23.

The group — which hails from Seattle and blends folk, rock and baroque pop into a haunting, melodic and complexly arranged blend — is one of the most interesting acts to emerge in the last decade. Their second album, 2011’s “Helplessness Blues,” is a masterpiece, and its 2008 predecessor, “Fleet Foxes,’ is wonderful, as well. Admittedly, I’ve never gotten all that into “Crack-Up.” I still can’t decide if it’s underwhelming — it’s opening seconds certainly are — or if it’s just a more challenging work and that I would be rewarded if I really dedicated myself to exploring it.

A news release announcing the group’s additional tour dates includes some excerpts from recent reviews that are undeniably promising:

The culmination of a two-hour high-wire act full of intricate, often breathtaking music. Judging by the flushed, smiling faces of the faithful as they file questly out, one that’s been worth the six-year wait. — Q Magazine


The show felt like it had disregarded the laws of physics, with each perfect transition between songs threading time together, making you feel like there was no such thing as an end. — Seattle Weekly


They brought with them everything fans love about Fleet Foxes: layered harmonies shepherded by Robin Pecknold’s still-incredible voice, pastoral lyrics, and an almost religious-seeming intensity that made the Crystal feel like a cathedral. — Portland Mercury

General-admission tickets for the Agora show are $42.50, no doubt before fees. Get them from TicketWeb here.

Stream of the week: I wish I could say that I’ve been consumed with Jack White’s “Boarding House Reach” since its release March 23, but the truth is I’m still working on falling in love with it. White, formerly one half of the terrific garage-rock duo The White Stripes, is a musical genius and a killer guitar player. Sometimes, however, his studio albums just ask too much of the listener. That may be the case here, but the album does grab me at times, such as thumping, perhaps hip-hop-influenced track “Ice Station Zebra.” Don’t forget: White has a Cleveland gig slated for June 6 at Jacobs Pavilion.


Mark Meszoros recently gas been way back into Fleet Foxes track “The Shrine/An Argument.” Follow him on Twitter @MarkMeszoros. Photo credit: Nonesuch

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