Foster The People

I first heard Foster The People’s ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ while driving around San Francisco about a month and a half ago (I know I was very late to the party) and at the time it resonated enough for me to think ‘I bet they’d be quite good live’. Seeing them perform their album Torches at the first show of their current two week tour across Europe, I can safely say that was an understatement.

Foster The People

Hailing from LA, they brought two American support bands with them across the pond. We Barbarians, a three-piece from Brooklyn, opened the show with their atmospheric 80s influenced tunes. Jumping around to their big catchy, chanting choruses, they caught the interest of the steadily building crowd. The infinitely different Mini Mansions were next in line, bringing haunting, tempo-shifting complex songs to the stage. Their slow and dark cover of Blondie’s Heart of Glass showcased them as an original new band that will be interesting to follow in the future.

Foster The PeopleFoster The People
Foster The PeopleFoster The People

By 9.30pm the large room was mostly filled with younger people with a small number of older people and a few accompanying parents dotted around. The air was charged with expectation as the stage plunged into darkness and as ‘Life on the Nickel’ kicked into full speed the room was instantly enraptured. The dance beats that underpin Foster The People’s music made for a happy, carefree and nostalgic sound and the room couldn’t help but erupt into dancing and cheering upon hearing hits like ‘Call It What You Want’ and ‘Helena Beat’. The highlight of the evening, the sensational ‘Pumped Up Kicks’, was played with such force that the audience were at fever pitch by the time the dance music bridge started.

Foster The People

The real revelation of the night was the band themselves. Considering their album has a fairly gentle sound they played with an aggressive energy, attacking every song with serious gusto. Front-man Mark Foster commanded the audience with a magnetic stage presence. An exuberant showman, he took the crowd in his hands when he walked on stage and worked tirelessly to keep them entertained for the entire set. His strong vocals relentlessly soared way above the rapturous chants filling the room. The band were constantly running around the stage swapping and playing different instruments so much that it wouldn’t have been a shock if one of them had pulled out a trombone at some point. They were dripping with sweat by their last song which was unsurprising considering their high-octane performance.

Foster The People

Foster The People are a band who give that impossible 110% on stage which, accompanied by a fantastical light show, makes their music come to life. I have no doubt that this band will be headlining festivals in a couple of years purely because of the fact that when they start playing you cannot stop yourself dancing along. And if you’re anything like me you’ll probably end up dancing your way back to the train station afterwards too.

Foster The People

Set List: Life on the Nickel / Houdini / Miss You / Waste / I Would Do Anything For You / I Fall Back Down / Love / Call It What You Want / Don’t Stop (Colour The Walls) / Warrant / Helena Beat / Encore: Ruby / Pumped Up Kicks

Gig Review by Nic Jones
Gig Photos by Carl Fleischer

2 Responses to “Foster The People + Mini Mansions + We Barbarians @ The Academy, Manchester, UK – 25th April 2012”

  1. Wayne Says:

    Flippin’ ace guys!

  2. Review for Gig Junkies – Foster the People | NavigatorNic Says:

    […] Foster The People + Mini Mansions + We Barbarians @ The Academy, Manchester, UK – 25th April 2012 […]

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