WRITTEN BY: JACK O’ROURKE
It may not feel like fall just yet, but at The Fillmore, fall concert season is in full swing. Playing host to a variety of artists over the next few months, The Fillmore opened its doors Monday night to Foster the People.
Most recently appearing at the Radio 104.5 Birthday Show in June, Foster the People teased the audience by playing a few unreleased songs in anticipation of the July 21st release of their third full-length studio album, “Sacred Hearts Club.”
For many bands, the third album is a critical point in a band’s evolution as artists, which often leads to bands experimenting with new genres and sounds. “Sacred Hearts Club” is no different; attempting to reach the chart-topping heights of their debut album “Torches,” Foster the People’s new album toys with an 80s-esque, funky, electronic sound that leaves many fans confused with the band’s direction.
Eager to hear the band’s new sound, a near sold-out crowd anxiously awaited the arrival of the indie-rock quartet. As the time neared nine o’clock, the remaining roadies left the stage and there was a growing sense of excitement in the crowd that it was almost time. Right on cue the venue went pitch-black, leaving the four blue illuminated crystal chandeliers as the only source of light. Out of the darkness four people emerged, all taking their place on stage. In the back of the stage, a pink neon sign reading “Sacred Hearts Club” revealed Foster the People for the first time.
Met by the screeching uproar of the crowd, Foster the People jumped right into their set fittingly opening the show with “Pay the Man,” the first track off “Sacred Hearts Club.” Lead singer, Mark Foster quickly took command of the stage with both the swagger and look of Artic Monkeys’ frontman, Alex Turner. Completing the look was his signature leather jacket and slicked back greased hair.
A long synthesizer intro that would make Joy Division proud led the band back into their debut album. Songs “Helena Beat” and “Life on the Nickel” left the crowd feeling nostalgic. Pausing in between songs, Mark Foster thanked the crowd for coming out and said he could not imagine a better place to end the summer leg of their tour than Philly.
The Grammy-nominated band kept the upbeat tempo going by playing the catchy, electronic hit “Doing It for the Money”. As if anyone forgot, the band reminded the audience of their reputation of having great special effects, putting on a dazzling performance of “Pseudologia Fantastica.” Rainbow colors, wavy vocal runs and an insane jam session left the crowd in a state of sensory overload; this show was not for the epileptic.
About half way through the set is where Foster the People really turned it on. Mark Foster showed off his versatility and talent as a musician when playing an extended guitar riff intro before The Fillmore erupted into an all-out sing-a-long, chanting every lyric to “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls).” Continuing with the momentum, the band brought the intensity with the jam session filled “Lotus Eater,” which effortlessly faded into “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones. The band’s cover of the 70s-punk rock anthem sent the crowd into a frenzy with a giant mosh pit forming in the center of the floor.
Picking a poor time in the set to play a slower and softer song from their sophomore album “Supermodel,” Foster the People played the acoustic ballad, “Goats in Trees” which really brought down the energy. Foster the People managed to salvage the energy; performing the band’s lone sophomore hit, “Coming of Age”.
To close the main set, Foster the People returned to their roots with a funky upbeat performance of “Miss You.” With spotlights moving all around the crowd, the band erupted into an Imagine Dragons like drum off with each band member pounding their drums. Giving his fellow bandmates a minute to catch their breath; Mark Foster spoke to the crowd about the inspiration behind their new album without getting too political. While writing the album, the band saw all the negativity and violence happening in the world and wanted to make a record responding to that. Foster, preached the message of “Joy is the best weapon against oppression” and that there is nothing more unifying than music, which is why the band does what it does.
Foster the People then delivered the band’s Billboard #1 hit, “Pumped Up Kicks.” Toning down the lighting and effects to truly experience the music, the hit song had fans in the balcony going crazy, almost surpassing the pandemonium in the pit.
The band exited the stage for a brief moment before the demanding uproar of the crowd brought the band back on stage. Foster the People ended their three-song encore with the hit song “Houdini;” bringing out the synth-rock, opening band, Palm Springsteen to help celebrate the end of their tour. Just as a conductor would lead an orchestra through a symphony, Mark Foster guided the group through the song into a drum battle that brought the show to its end. Thanking the crowd one last time, Foster the People exited the stage for the last time of their summer tour.
- Pay the Man
- Helena Beat
- Life on the Nickel
- Doing It for the Money
- Pseudologia Fantastica
- Harden the Paint
- Are You What You Want to Be?
- Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)
- Lotus Eater
- Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones Cover)
- Goats in Trees
- Coming of Age
- Sit Next To Me
- Miss You
- A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying the Moon
- Pumped Up Kicks
- Loyal Like Nancy
- Broken Jaw