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Show Review: Foster the People

"Living down here the last four years, I've gotten to be part of a cultural renaissance. I feel like Los Angeles has given us a lot, and we wanted to give something back. There's a lot of people who live down here, who walk past or ride the bus to work past that wall every day. They have no idea who we are, but they're going to be able to see a piece of art that's making their neighborhood more beautiful, even if they never listen to the band."

            Feel-good electronic beats permeated the brisk air of Downtown LA along with Mark Foster’s high pitch yet powerful voice at a last minute free show put on by Foster the People. The short and sweet one-hour set they played featured both old favorites, including “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Helena Beat,” as well as tracks from the band’s upcoming album Supermodel set to be released this March. As alluded to by the short speech above, given by Foster at the culmination of the set, the show served as not only a promotion for the new album but also something more – it signified the band’s love for this city and their ambition to inspire creativity within its residents.

            The already available single “Coming of Age” from the upcoming album represents what this album is for Foster the People – a maturation from the infectious pop tunes heard on their freshman album Torches. While the new album stays true to Foster the People’s general sound, the songs feature more guitar and less synth-y beats.

            The show was held in an unremarkable parking lot – made remarkable by the brightly colored mural that covers not only the entire adjacent wall but also the anticipated new album. The band used this show to officially dedicate the enormous and impressive Supermodel mural, which illuminates the face of the building that sits on the corner of an otherwise gray street. Foster expressed heavily how he hopes that the mural will bring beauty to the area and excite others to create something.

            The combination of the seemingly random location, small crowd, and free tickets to the show speaks to the fact that Foster the People as a band values art, culture, and the joys that come with over fame – an impressive quality for a well known band to exhibit. After the concert, which was no less passionately performed than expected, Foster went beyond dedicating the mural and offered the crowd the unique opportunity of having a part in the process. Attendees of the show, as instructed, formed a line that resembled the “Snake” game on a 1990s cell phone as they waited for their turn to place their handprint on the wall. Once again, Foster the People demonstrated that they truly appreciate their fans – but that they genuinely want their fans to take something away from their music and be inspired by art in every form.  

Check out the single and this super cool time lapse of the mural’s creation!

-Olivia, KXSC Intern