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Review: Foster the People at The Vogue

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Foster the People, Cults
Oct. 4, The Vogue
4 stars

Usually, when a band announces that they’ve been on the road for nine months, the audience loses a little confidence, because it would seem like a cushioned way of admitting exhaustion. Not so for Foster the People at The Vogue on Tuesday night. Somehow, knowing the extent of the tour amped things up even more. Cults duo Ryan Oblivion and Madeline Follin opened the night, and as they finished their set, Follin said, “What day is this? Saturday?” It certainly seemed more like the weekend.

When Foster the People took the stage, they were in high gear: bouncing around the stage like kids released for recess. The crowd was with them. The thing that you don’t exactly get a grasp of when listening to the album is that there is a lot of percussion going on. It’s present in the album, obviously, and necessary and great; but on the stage, suddenly you realize that they’re all playing percussion, constantly. Mark Pontius never stopped from behind his kit. Mark Foster was almost cartoonish in his ability to zing from one end of the stage to the other, switching from keyboards to (other) drums to guitar and around again.

A few songs in, Foster took time to explain they were raising money for local charities while on the North American leg of their epic tour. The Do Good Bus has been around the band, charged with the social justice program of the Foster the People experience. In Indianapolis, they chose Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. All told, they’ve raised over $120,000 with this mission. Foster was sincere in saying, “We’re all really fortunate.” And then, after also announcing that it was band member Cubbie Fink’s birthday, they got back to rocking.

“Don’t Stop (Color On the Walls)” and “Call it What you Want” were exactly what the audience wanted. It wasn’t a long show — it almost seemed like they may have skipped some things on a typical setlist — but every moment of their hour-long set was excellent. The crowd chanted for the inevitable “Pumped Up Kicks,” which followed a new ballad featuring a solo Foster. That closing super-popular single proved to be unforgettable in a 7-minute version that saw the band pulling all of the behind-the-scenes people onto stage to bang on something, anything.

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