Foster the People: 20 June 2011 – Music Hall of Williamsburg, New York

People pumped up their kicks to dance to Foster the People but, with only a short set, the opportunity barely presented itself.
Foster the People

Foster the People have made their name heard wide on the indie rock airwaves on the back of one song in particular “Pumped Up Kicks”, a quite catchy electro-jam that glides along on the bassline and chorus. 2011 has seen their tour grow from tiny venues like Philly’s Kung Fu Necktie in the Spring to the more spacious London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire in late autumn. In the middle of their often sold-out, summer tour took them to the middle tier venues, like two nights in New York City at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and the Bowery Ballroom.

The constant touring may be tiring but with only the one short, forty-minute, album under their belts, Foster the People spent their brief time on stage pressing through their music. Lead singer Mark Foster spent few moments engaging with the audience, who seemed desperate to want to dance but built up quite a sweat. With their full length album Torches out only last month, in many cases people came solely because they knew to dance to “Kicks” and two other earlier EP tracks, the astounding “Houdini” and the throbbing “Helena Beat”. However, some of the other songs like “Miss You” and “Warrant” are less danceable, or perhaps less familiar, for the crowd and less memorable.

Throughout the night it was noticeable that, during each song, unique lighting characteristics were added and expertly managed adding to the sensations. Red lights bathed Foster on “I Would do Anything for You”, a love song of sorts with its bright chorus, “Ooh-la-la, I’ve fallen in love / and its better this time, than ever before”. “Houdini” appeared early in the set but “Kicks”, “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)” and after brief break, “Helena Beat” closed out the evening. As my favorite, “Beat” was a great conclusion. Its various elements, from the dirty guitar sound to hand claps and the synths fuse together to start up a storm.