Just reading the title of this post may be giving you war flashbacks. If you owned a radio about three years ago you heard “Pumped Up Kicks” about 5,486 times on local radio stations. Love it or hate it, we all heard it far too many times for our own safety and health. You may be thinking to yourself – Foster the People… Where are they now? Well, let me tell you that Foster the People are much more than “Pumped Up Kicks”, and when they played about two weeks ago at the Fillmore, they delivered a jaw-dropping performance that left a mark on Miami fans.
Let’s Forget About The Overplayed Hit
“Pumped Up Kicks” was not the first Foster the People song I heard. Back in the day (like three years ago), I got my indie kicks, from a website called The Kollection that was (and probably still is) run by very savvy individuals. They post small blurbs about a up-and-coming artists and featured a song to download or buy. Coincidentally, just before the release of their first album Torches, The Kollection had “Helena Beat”, “Houdini”, and “Pumped Up Kicks” available for download. A good friend of mine recommended “Houdini”, and I really enjoyed it, so I “kollected” all three. Then, Torches was released in May of 2011, and we all know which song rose to the top of the charts that summer. Torches is a fantastic album. Not only does it have the groovy and psychedelic instrumental appeal, but Mark Foster’s vocals are unique and soulful. It is definitely a classic album in my eyes (or ears), because it doesn’t tire for me.
I didn’t expect Foster the People to come to Miami, because, let’s face it, we usually don’t get too many alternative artists down here, but, in what I now refer as The Great Concert Boom of 2014, they came with the surge of wonderful artists. Their latest album, Supermodel, was almost as good as the first, so if you haven’t heard it, get started… I recommend, “Best Friend” (I mean, look at this rad lyric video).
Imagine picking your favorite colors and arranging them into a perfect gradient on Photoshop. That is exactly what the stage looked like. This is probably the first time imitation fog did not bother me, because it settled so perfectly in a way that made the colors look like a solid backdrop. I can’t remember how many times I turned to my friend and said, “How awesome are these lights?!” To add to the magic, during the performance, spotlights flashed and scanned the crowd. It was delightful, and I haven’t even started talking about the music yet.
I was incredibly impressed by the passion of the band. I was especially moved by Mark Pontius who shredded the drums along with touring member Isom Innis. From beginning to end, their extraordinary energy did not flounder. During “Miss You”, Pontius and Innis were pounding on the drums so intensely, I was half-expecting their drum sticks to snap at any moment. Thankfully, they did not. It’s also worth noting that Mark Foster’s heartfelt vocals which pierced the air and resonated in the beautiful Jackie Gleason Theater.
Some of the strongest points were “Miss You”, “Helena Beat”, “Best Friend”, and “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)”. Fans of Torches and Supermodel were pleased as most gems from each album were performed during their set. Unfortunately, the encore ended the concert on a confusing note with “The Truth” which, in my humble opinion, is not the best Foster the People track. I do commend the band for choosing a less popular song to close rather than following the traditional method of ending with a hit. However, I will remember the show because of the bangers, not the weird encore.