Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Live Review: Foster The People
The Mod Club, Toronto
June 18, 2011

L.A. based indie pop trio Foster the People rolled into town for the second time in just over a two month span on Saturday night at the Mod Club Theatre.

Riding the wave of their newly released and well received album Torches, a faithful crowd consisting of everyone from college kids to 40+ musicphiles all packed the venue to capacity to get a look at what is arguably the year’s biggest buzz band.

Saturday’s show was definitely a series of challenges. Just getting your hands on a ticket for this highly anticipated show was a task in itself. Secondly, for those who had tickets, having to make like a herd of cattle just getting to the club, located smack dab in the middle of the Taste of Italy festival on College Street, was not only exhausting but quite trying. Being such a young band and presumably inexperienced, a tinge of skepticism was had going in, but all it took was just half of one song to throw that theory out the window. Right from the get-go, Foster the People are all business. Frontman Mark Foster’s stage banter and audience interaction was at its barest minimum and performance energy at its maximum. It was all completely clear the moment the fivesome took the stage launching into the track “Warrant” that it was all about hyper for the rest of the evening.

Other than drummer Mark Pontius, all members are multi-instrumentalists and took turns jumping from keyboards to guitar to each taking a turn at aggressively beating a stand-alone floor tom centre stage like it owed them money. For a band that’s only been together since 2009 and its members more than likely only a few years removed from high school, they’ve pretty much already mastered the art of perfect ear-worm pop songs. Torches is entirely full of them, and with that being said, live interpretations of these songs are just as tight live as they are on record. They had the roughly 600 capacity crowd in the palm of their hand — jumping and dancing while singing in unison and filling the room with an infectious vibe. Really, not bad for an ensemble that’s still relatively new at this game. The biggest highlight of the night had to have come with the light show and bubble shower from the rafters that accompanied the most anticipated song of the night and summer, “Pumped Up Kicks”. From that point on, the place was just a sea of grins from ear to ear.

It was at night’s end where FTP scored the highest points with the audience — they left the stage at set’s end, only to return just 30 seconds later for the obligatory encore. No long-drawn out build-up, no denying the inevitable — just getting it done. Bravo. Speaking of encores, can we abolish these things already? We know you’re coming back for at least one more.

If you’ve missed out on the two times Foster the People have been by already, they’re back for a third time this year on October 1st playing the much larger Sound Academy — a Saturday night to boot too. Don’t just think about it, just go. You won’t be disappointed and be humming these tunes for days.

Miss You
Call It What You Want
Life On The Nickel
I Would Do Anything For You
Broken Jaw
Pumped Up Kicks
Don't Stop (Color on the Walls)

Helena Beat

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