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LIVE REVIEW: Foster The People at House of Blues

Mark Foster of Foster the Poeple
Mark Foster of Foster the Poeple

It’s astounding what radio can do for an indie band in a short time if they’re deemed acceptable for heavy rotation. This past spring Foster The People was playing 500 capacity venues on tour, and now can sell-out venues like the House of Blues a month ahead of show date. Riding high on the success of their first studio album Torches, last Wednesday the band was ready with radio hits like the inescapable “Pumped Up Kicks” for the sold out HOB crowd.

Santa Barbara natives Garden and Villa opened the show with their more down-tempo indie lounge, a more laid back take on the genre but still a surprisingly good fit for the evening. Foster The People hit the stage around 9:15 with the airy sound curtain of “Warrant” leading frontman Mark Foster into co-op drumming on a floor tom with drummer Mark Pontius. Foster’s multi-instrumental command is fun to watch live as he easily transitions between percussion to piano and vocals. His high-pitched yet folksy range resounded over the rest of the band’s steadying keys and bouncy rhythm on “Houdini”, although it was sometimes hard to pick out the bands subtle touches of synth and samples. When not playing strings and secondary keyboards the other members supported foster with airy backing vocals throughout the set. Crowd-pleasers like “Miss You” with the appropriate lighting cues held the audience in the breezy suspense of Foster’s voice and led the crowd in light-hearted sing-a-longs.

By night’s end it was clear that Foster The People may be the next in a long line of indie bands to garner the mainstream buzz, where others seem to fall in the trap of pigeon-hole classification. With straight-forward song writing that easily flows through their live set of their only album, the band is no one-trick pony and will keep the hit singles coming.

Photo by Adamelmakias.com