When it comes to embracing new artists, The Big Apple is notorious for being standoffish. Countless acts come through this town feeling intense pressure to perform, and like a picky suitor at a speed-dating event, New York and its sometimes-jaded tastemaker underbelly can oftendiscard a group within minutes. This premature blow to the ego, however, did not happen at the Lower East Side’s Bowery Ballroom last night. Performing their second sold out show in the concrete jungle in as many nights—the first of which was held Monday night in Brooklyn— indie pop rockers Foster The People managed to create an atmosphere that was full of wild, supportive energy, and not a heckler was in sight.
After their VH1 Big Morning Buzz Live interview yesterday morning with Top 20’s Jim Shearer, the band then graced our offices with a stripped-down You Oughta Know Live performance of four songs. Powered by Subway, Foster The People’s You Oughta Know run will officially kick off next week, so we were beyond stoked to see the trio’s exclusive taping before running downtown to experience the band’s full, five-man show in all it’s glory.
Percussion-heavy pop magic might be the best way to describe what was witnessed at Bowery. Powering through all the songs on their debut LP Torches, the band created an hour-long, electric, hands-in-the-air dance party. Concert-goers not only bopped, jumped, and fist-pumped to the music, but the majority of fans knew the song lyrics word for word (something you don’t see too often with such a fresh band in this city). The audience’s enthusiasm remained solid throughout the entire show, too; finding a difference in crowd reaction between newly crowned #1 song at Alternative radio “Pumped Up Kicks” and the rest of their set’s songs was pretty much impossible. That consistency is probably due to the fact that those guys jam hard! After beating up maracas, tambourines, cymbals, and guitars, it was almost comical when lead singer Mark Foster had to stop his shoulder-shimmying dance moves mid-set to give an abused keyboard some loving attention. “I think tonight did it in,” he said, confessing that touring had taken a toll on his loyal instrument, culminating in what appeared to be its ultimate demise.
As if the music didn’t already speak for itself, Foster The People’s live show proved to enhance the sonic treats that VH1 has already grown to appreciate. So do yourself a favor: try to catch these guys on tour, and don’t forget to check back with us next week when we’ll have exclusive new You Oughta Know content from the band. Like the finicky NYC critics did last night, we’re certain that you’ll wind up just as infatuated as we are.
FOSTER THE PEOPLE’S BOWERY BALLROOM SET LIST (6/21/11)
+ MISS YOU
+ CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT
+ LIFE ON THE NICKEL
+ I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR YOU
+ BROKEN JAW (not on Torches)
+ PUMPED UP KICKS
+ DON’T STOP
+ HELENA BEAT
[Photo Credit: VH1/Zev Schmitz]