Foster The People sure know how to party! About 2,500 fans braved the muggy heat to get down with the L.A. hit makers Thursday night at Harrah’s Stir Concert Cove.
Foster is hitting the road this summer in support of their latest record “Sacred Hearts Club” which was released late last summer. As I reported a few months back, the new single “Sit Next to Me” has been picking up steam on pop and alt radio stations, so there was a considerable amount of buzz leading up to this show.
Many of Foster The People’s dates have been paired with pop powerhouse Paramore (say that three times fast), but for the show at Harrah’s, Foster brought along new comers AJR.
AJR are three brothers from New York who started making music in their apartment in 2005, focusing on the indie pop scene and busking in subways. Their song “Sober Up” was co-written by the pop song master Rivers Coumo of Weezer. Rivers also features on backing vocals. The song has been climbing the charts for months, and their most recent single “Burn the House Down” has been receiving a lot of play on local Omaha station 89.7 The River. I suspect “Burn the House Down” will start crossing over to the pop stations soon. During both of these songs, you could see a noticeable uptick in singing and jumping.
AJR started the party with pumping bass and pop synth mastery. There were no drums or guitars to be seen, only keyboards and a bass, but that didn’t stop the band from having a great time. Singer Jack Met mentioned several times how much he appreciated the crowd’s support and you could tell they genuinely wanted to be there. At one point Jack stopped and pointed out the jumbo-tron screen to the left of the stage. “I’ve never been on a jumbo-tron before. This is so surreal!” I thought that was great. How amazing that this guy is still humbled by something so small.
AJR closed their set with their most recognized song “Weak”. I vaguely remember hearing the song on a Spotify list, but I hadn’t paid much attention to the lyrics. From what I observed, the song is about going to a party and taking drugs, and that it’s o.k. to screw up from time-to-time.
“One sip, bad for me”, “One hit, bad for me”, “One kiss, bad for me”, “But I give in so easily”, “And no thank you is how it should’ve gone” “I should stay strong”, “But I’m weak, and what’s wrong with that?”
Maybe I’m interpreting the lyrics wrong, but I feel like that’s a terrible message. I think Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed needs to teach this kids a lesson about strength and perseverance. Pfft, weak, and what’s wrong with that? There’s a lot wrong with that!
After AJR, I spotted a kid in a gold, satin, paisley dress shirt and I just had to let him know how awesome it was. He said he got it at goodwill for $5. Too cool! A girl behind him recognized my Fever 333 shirt and said “I was at that show in Lincoln!”
I introduced myself to Jeanna and let her know I was also at the show in Lincoln and Omaha the next night and did an interview with the band! She said the show was completely mind blowing! She had never heard The Fever 333 before that night. I told her it must have been even more amazing going in and not knowing what to expect. Those were definitely two of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Jeanna, only 14 said she’s totally hooked on concerts and is excited for even more shows this summer. I said that’s about when I started going to shows too and there’s nothing I look forward to more.
As the house music came to a stop a heavy smoke started to fill the stage. Mark Foster came strutting out looking like he just stepped off the set of “The Outsiders”. With a black leather jacket and white tank top, he was the coolest guy in the room. He stood calmly behind a mini synth and electronic beats filled the air. Kicking the set off with “Sid and Nancy” from their latest record Sacred Hearts Club, Mark moon-walked and to the upbeat melodies.
Playing for a solid hour and a half, the band had a good mix of old and new songs. Though they played what felt like the entire Sacred Hearts Club album, I really don’t feel like they left anything out.
All the hits were covered, “Helena Beat”, “Pumped Up Kicks”, “Don’t Stop”, “Houdini”, “Lotus Eater”, and more. Foster even played a cover of “Blitzkrieg Bop”! These guys definitely cranked the funk dial to 11. I saw plenty of people dancing, even in the chair and lawn section. The highlight for me personally was “Call it What You Want”. It was one of the first songs that got me into Foster The People and I saw so many hands go up as soon as the track started.
Towards the end of the set Mark gave a speech about living your dreams and that scraping by is fine if you’re doing what you love. He mentioned moving to L.A. to pursue music after he graduated high school. He lived in his car and delivered pizza for eight years. I once read that Mark delivered pizza to the late great Chris Cornell of SoundGarden!
I’m glad to see Mark made it out of the homeless pizza delivery days and is putting his talent to good use. I hope he gets to continue doing what he loves for a long time. I’ll definitely be there with my party hat on!
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