I turned the corner onto East Allen Street as I have done many times, but on September 18, 2017, I was immediately taken back. The line for the ‘Foster the People show stretched the length of the building and beyond. It was the longest line that I have ever seen at this venue. You could see the anticipation in the crowd for Foster The People to come back to Philly. They last played as a part of a Radio 104.5 Birthday show over the Summer, and the Philly crowd definitely wanted more.
The evening opened with ‘Palm Springsteen’, a band which has been described as a having a New Wave Synth Post Proto-Punk sound. You could hear the influences, and the band’s stage presence looked a little like a Talking Heads performance. The lead singer, Nick Hinman, who could be mistaken for the late David Hutchins, jumped around the stage and had an erratic mic style. The music, with its heavy synths, could not overpower the amazing guitar work by Hayden Tobin, who had a stage presence like early Jimmy Page. The setlist included ‘She’s Got Claws’, and ‘Wipeout Beat’.
As the light dimmed, the backlights lit up the stage, and the band members took their places, the crowd erupted as lead singer Mark Foster walked to center stage, hit a few buttons, and the party started. The band’s performance was very tight and the amount of stage production that Foster The People provides is off the charts. Each song had its own unique light show. When you combined the lights with the infectiously catchy music, how could Foster not dance across the stage on almost every song?
Foster The People recently released their third studio album, ‘Sacred Hearts Club’, in July 2017. The tour, of the same name, could not be missed as it was written in bright neon lights across the back of the stage. Some of the highlights of the show were ‘Helena Beat’ and ‘Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)’ as well as the closing song, ‘Pumped Up Kicks’. It was pure mayhem as Foster brought out Palm Springsteen to play on the encore. It was like having double the beats and synth all happening at once!
Foster The People’s set list included: Pay the Man, Helena Beat, Doing It for the Money, Are You What You Want to Be?, Houdini, Call It What You Want, Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls), Lotus Eater, Coming of Age, Sit Next To Me, and Pumped Up Kicks. It was another amazing performance from a band we have enjoyed seeing live time and time again.
[Photos by Brockswell Photography]
[Article by Bob Linneman]
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