Foster the People get the party started on the harbor
A review of Foster the People at the Bank of America Pavilion on June 15, 2012
The party never stopped when Foster the People took to the stage Friday night at the Bank of America Pavilion. From the first beat of the drum, the energy was palpable, and the crowd loved every minute of it.
The night began with the almost Coldplay-esqe number “Miss You” complete with multiple drums, synthesizer galore and flashing lights to set the mood. The number ended with the lights coming up to reveal a massive set of sorts, featuring the creatures that populate the cover of the group’s debut album, Torches. The “indie” band’s many musical influences manifested themselves throughout the night; at times, the music seemed to lean towards hip-hop, electronic, modern rock, or even a Beach Boys vibe such as on the chorus of “I Would Do Anything for You”.
The star of the night was unquestionably frontman Mark Foster. With a constant energetic performance that never felt forced, the lead singer bounced from keyboard to guitar to drums, all the while dancing from one end of the stage to the other. His dynamic performance alone was a sight to see, but only in combination with the rest of Foster the People did the music feel complete. The band was as tight as could be – not an easy feat on the road but one that comes with the experience of almost constant touring over the course of more than a year and literally hundreds of shows, as Foster was quick to point out. The wall of sound they created was matched by the light show and, as mentioned earlier, the backdrop, which upon occasion was punctuated by a faceless, costumed man shooting bubbles or hurling paper planes down onto the stage.
While the level of performance remained steady throughout the evening, the show did have peaks and valleys. After putting their all into the undeniably catchy “Call It What You Want”, the group segued into a slow, keyboard-centric improvisation which Foster dubbed only around a “4″ on a greatness scale of 1 to 10. “You’re like jumping off a cliff,” he said as he explained to the audience that the band likes to develop new music when inspiration strikes them, “Sometimes you fall to your death and sometimes you fly away into the heavens.”
From there it was back to recorded music, with one of their bigger hits, “Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls)”, leading into the mellower “Warrant”. The group then brought out opening act Kimbra to perform their joint song “Warrior” much to the delight of the crowd, with Kimbra’s colorful outfit and personality fitting in perfectly.
The main set came to an end with “Houdini”. From there, the encore began as Mark Foster entered alone to begin “Ruby” with the band joining around the halfway point. Finally it was time for the group’s biggest hit, “Pumped Up Kicks”. With such as smooth show it was a shock to the audience and band both when suddenly a mic or amp resulted in a noise, Foster joked, that was to call down the aliens. Foster the People recovered quickly, however, and restarted the popular tune. The audience was quick to forgive and the night ended just as it began: with everyone moving and grooving at the biggest party on the harbor.
Openers Tokyo Police Club were a great fit for the tour as they added their own unique flair to alternative rock on favorites such as “Your English Is Good”.