Though it was a Wednesday night, the fans came through for Foster the People at the House of Blues Sept. 13. While it was not a sold out show, the energy and liveliness in the venue made it feel like one, sending the audience into a frenzy as they basked in the music.
The first band to take the stage was Palm Springsteen, a bi-coastal band characterized by effortlessly cool, beachy vibes. Palm Springsteen consists of Nick Hinman on vocals, Hayden Tobin on guitar, Luca Buccellati on synth and Kyle Sirell on drums. Their music can be best described as electric pop space jams and it sounds exactly as one would imagine; groovy in a way reminiscent of 80’s disco nights. They showed infinite amounts of energy as they floated around stage, rocking out with the crowd. Their new single “She’s Got Claws,” one of the highlights of the show, is one of only two songs currently on streaming platforms. The song is about a “relationship where you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit, but the other person has really got her nails dug into you.” During his performance, Hinman allowed the crowd to sense and feel the pure emotions that drove the song. With the amount of passion and drive Palm Springsteen shows, they are sure to go places.
The crowd’s anticipation was boiling as everyone waited for for Foster the People to arrive on stage. Formed back in 2009, the band consists of lead singer Mark Foster, guitarist Sean Cimino, keyboardist Isom Inni, and drummer Mark Pontius. Their debut album, “Torches” was truly a masterpiece and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 2012. Following up on this success was “Supermodel” in 2014, also insanely incredible. Fans were uncertain when Foster the People would return from their hiatus and whether they could keep up this musical momentum, but luckily their latest album “Sacred Hearts Club” proves that Foster the People did not lose their touch in making good quality music for the soul.
As soon as Foster stepped on stage, the crowd began wildly cheering. Smoke poured out from the corner of the stage and a bright neon red sign spelled out Sacred Hearts Club in cursive in the center of the stage, serving as the backdrop. It was minimalist, allowing the crowd to really focus their attention on the artists themselves. That being said, the addition of the sign and the flashing lights added another dimension to the set. Each song felt like a journey through time.
Foster the People began their set with “Pay the Man,” a song from their newest album. The set list for the night was equally dispersed with songs from all three albums, each sounding like a number one hit. Fans were able to identify every song based on the opening notes and their enthusiasm was unwavering throughout the night.
A memorable moment occurred when Foster introduced “Sit Next to Me” by talking about the importance of learning to love each other. It was a great tribute to what has been happening around the world from the Syrian refugee crisis to the various bombing attacks worldwide, and it was heartwarming to see a band use their platform to bring awareness to global issues.
“Joy is the best record against oppressors and depression,” Foster said. “Love will always be more powerful than any politics or ideologies.”
Towards the end of the night, the band played “Ruby,” made special by Foster’s choice to replace his guitar for piano as the accompaniment to his voice. With his voice, Foster evoked many emotions that drifted through the audience’s souls. As he got lost in his own world, the crowd, entranced, lit up the room with the flashlights on their phones.
The whole experience was surreal from all the strobe lights to the way the band curated their set list. Within the short time frame between a song’s intro and when Foster first opened his mouth, the emotions sparked from the previous song were allowed to percolate within the audience’s minds, allowing them to reflect on their own individuality. All those years of regrets, broken hearts and grudges were all forgotten – it was as if everyone was a part of a giant group therapy session set to live music. Music and lover were the triumphant winners that night.
Photos courtesy of Xandie Kuenning and Victoria Tan