The Fillmore was buzzing with a boundless energy Friday night as junior high kids, college hipsters, post-grad scenesters, middle-aged fans and tired parents packed into the venue for Foster the People, and a night of danceable tunes.
Four-piece Athens, Georgia, band Reptar (affectionately named after the dinosaur from Rugrats) kicked off the night with tracks from their recently-released EP. Their quick 30-minute set was a blur of bass drums and headbanging, particularly from keyboardist William Kennedy, whose playing was the highlight of their performance.
New York duo Cults hit the stage bathed in blue and purple lights joined by a live band that played effortlessly through a set that showcased Madeline Follin’s pitch-perfect vocals and Brian Oblivion’s penchant for succinct introductions to their songs—“This is a song about hanging out late in the Tenderloin.” They breezed through tracks from their debut full-length album including “Never Heal Myself,” “Most Wanted,” “You Know What I Mean” and “Bumper.” The set ended with their best known single “Go Outside” and a thanks to the audience for being “such good little rugrats.”
By the time Foster the People made it to the stage, the Fillmore was bursting with excitement, chatter and anticipation. Prince’s “Erotic City” got cut from the speakers, the lights went down and the crowd collectively lost their shit as the band launched into an hour-long sensory assault beginning with percussion-heavy track “Houdini.”
Lights bounced around the room as vocalist Mark Foster grinned, shimmied and shuffled around the stage accompanied by his air-tight band. The set was comprised of a series of songs from their critically-acclaimed album Torches. The crowd sang every word to every song they played including “I Would Do Anything For You,” “Broken Jaw (a bonus track from the album),” “Waste,” “Call It What You Want,” “Miss You,” “Color On the Walls (Don’t Stop)” and “Helena Beat.”
Foster the People reserved their slowest song for an emotional encore before propelling the crowd into a frenzy with a high-energy performance of their breakout hit “Pumped Up Kicks.”
For fans of straight-forward rock songs crafted to pop perfection, Foster the People can do no wrong.