“Foster! Foster!” screamed the huge crowd of 3,500 that gathered at Fort Canning Park to catch Foster The People live on Jan 14. The show was delayed by about an hour but that didn’t stop fans from cheering wildly for the band to show up on stage.
Local electro band The Auditory Effect got the opportunity to open for Foster The People. Performing in front of the massive crowd was, as lead singer Helmey Bar said, an “eye-opener” – especially since they received “such an overwhelming response”.
When Foster The People finally appeared on stage to kickstart the concert with the track ‘Houdini’, almost everyone was singing along. No surprise as this is one of the band’s most popular tracks.
“I found out about Foster The People through my cousin from the United States and I really liked them after listening to ‘Pumped Up Kicks’. But my favourite tracks have got to be ‘Helena Beat’ and ‘Houdini’”, said Daniel Koh, 19, a student who attended the concert.
Most would have thought that their debut single ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ would be a hot favourite, but numerous chats with fans revealed that, while no doubt popular, it’s not necessarily the top pick.
The most remarkable takeaway from the concert was probably that lead vocalist Mark Foster opened by speaking to the audience more as friends, making him come across as a very humble and down-to-earth person.
After ‘Houdini’, ‘Miss You’, and ‘Life On The Nickel’, Foster took the microphone and said, “When we first started the band, we were just a few friends in LA. I don’t think any of us would have thought we would be up here in 2 years.” This was received with loud screams of support from avid Foster fans.
Sharing their personal thoughts and experiences made the audience feel an intimate connection with the band, but it didn’t end there. The band continued to talk about their lives and even gave a short speech – during which the cheering and jostling fans quieted down in order to listen.
“One thing I can say about the whole experience is that we’re passionate about what we wanted to do and we didn’t hold back,” Foster said. “I know all of you guys out there have something that you want to do, that you’re passionate about. It’s really easy to get deflated following your passion. A lot of people like to say no, a lot of people like to say you’re not good enough or we don’t want to work with you. It’s always going to be like that and you are going to have to prove them wrong because you have to believe in yourself.”
“It’s quite refreshing to feel how the band connects with its crowd. I guess being an indie band Foster The People feels the need to connect to its ever-growing hippie-loving fans!” said Muhammad Tengku, a senior creative at Front Desk who thoroughly enjoyed the concert.
Given that the band shot to fame with the now certified platinum single ‘Pumped Up Kicks ‘, it was clear the night wouldn’t be complete without it. However, the band knew to save the best for last.
The encore performance began with a preview of the as-yet-unreleased single ‘Ruby’, followed by ‘Warrant’. Of course, the night ended with the much-waited ‘Pumped Up Kicks’.
It was a spectacular sight to watch as hundreds of mobile phones sprang into the air to video record the closing song. The band left the chorus to the crowd and everybody participated and sang along in joy.
“I came to the concert for ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ and it is a must to record this track”, explained Allied educator Iffa Iryani, 22, who was busy recording while bobbing her feet.
Foster The People, which consists of main man Mark Foster, Cubbie Fink (bass and backing vocals) and Mark Pontius (drums and percussion), has definitely left Singaporeans begging for more after the 75-minute set.
The band has been playing together since late 2009. Since then, they’ve scored in a Top 10 Album on the Billboard 200, a monstrous hit at Top 40 radio, numerous TV appearances, dozens of headlining concerts, a Best New Artist nomination at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, and coveted performance slots at Coachella, Lollapalooza, and the Austin City Limits Music Festival.