The air was a little too cold to call this a summer concert, but I still wore a sundress. This is the life of someone who will not accept summer has ended until there is snow on the ground.
As I shivered my butt off in the grass of the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Friday night, I listened to the deep bass of the slightly aggressive-sounding opening band, The Velvet Teen.
After withstanding the wind for the better part of an hour, I would not say they were my favorite opening act. Their teen, punk-wannabe sound and awkward audience interaction didn’t leave the best impression, but, then again, maybe it was the cold air just getting to my head (and bare legs).
Close to 9 p.m., I made the (smart) move of elbowing into the pit with all the other Foster the People super fans and prepared myself for the entrance of the main act.
Suddenly, the audience’s attention was directed at the pulsing blue background lights and green fog hanging over the stage. Lead vocalist Mark Foster appeared center stage, sporting a tight leather jacket, and was accompanied by fellow band mates Jacob “Cubbie” Fink on bass and backup vocals and Mark Pontius on drums and percussion.
The crowd reaction was wild — as if they were being reunited with a best friend. The audience all swung their hands like they were collectively waving at the Foster the People guys.
The spirit was on full blast as the band kicked the night off with “Pseudologia Fantastica”.
During the second song, “Miss You,” the audience crooned right back at Foster when he sang, “I really miss you,” and it felt genuine. The audience really did miss hearing a band like Foster the People play.
The techno “Life on the Nickel” came next followed by “Helena Beat,” both personal favorites of mine.
Never have I been to a concert where the audience was so in synch and cohesive. It was a dance party — everyone seemed to feel the music and respond with a head bob or arm in the air.
Next came the electric fan favorite “Waste,” and by the time it got to “Coming of Age,” the audience was (attempting) to sing backup.
Amidst the flashing colored lights and the band’s blending of instruments and sound came “I Would Do Anything For You” and “Houdini.” Fink and Pontius seemed to be in full rock-band mode while Foster was as chill as ever, walking the stage like it was his own personal runway.
When the beat began for their most recent hit — “Best Friend” — the audience seemed to become re-energized.
Two songs later, the “end” of the show arrived — which really meant two minutes of waiting for the much-loved encore.
In this case, Foster the People played two of its most popular songs to end the show with a boom. First was the song that arguably everyone who owns a radio knows —“Pumped Up Kicks.” Once the ever-recognizable intro began, it was as if an iPhone commercial was being taped with every phone around me lit up to capture the moment.
Sharp drums, flashing purple lights and dramatic drawn-out notes characterized the song, which made all the times it had been overplayed on the radio irrelevant.
Before its final song, Foster went into something like a pep speech, telling the young audience members in the pit that they were the next generation and motivating them to focus on changing the world.
“Don’t be apathetic. This is an apathetic time we live in,” Foster said. “You guys are going to do big things.”
After Foster’s heartfelt words came the band’s actual final song — “Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls).” The song came with a burst of color (surprise) and another inevitable dance fest with everyone in the audience giving it their all.
Hands were waving in the air, fists were pumped and Foster the People was kicking.