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Posts Tagged ‘Foster The People’
03 Jun

By Michel Dussack

It’s still hard to get a handle on just how big Foster the People has become in just over a year. Now several tours into supporting their debut LP ‘Torches’, this current spring tour (apparently the last one in support of the album) started on May 29th in New York’s Central Park and sees the band playing their biggest venues to date, including three sold out stops at the New York venue. Supporting the band on the first leg of this tour are both Kimbra and The Kooks.

First up was Kimbra, who much like Foster the People, is quickly becoming a household name due in part to one massive hit – Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ which she provides vocals on. Her seven song set featured tracks from her debut album, ‘Vows’ which just saw a release in the U.S. Regardless of how recently her album came out, several pockets of fans seemed to know the words to a handful of the songs, especially with the song ‘Settle Down.’ Her set was downright infectious, and she is sure to be headlining large venues of her own soon enough.

Next was English indie rockers, The Kooks who played a 45 minute set to a small segment of loyal fans who seemed to be at the show just to see them, and a much larger group of people who had never heard a track by them. Fresh off a tour that included a stop at Terminal 5, Central Park wasn’t much larger of a venue for them to be playing, and their confidence was at an all-time high. Singer Luke Pritchard was only restricted by the size of stage as he freely ran around while singing, often times with a guitar strapped on as well. While the band is already massive overseas, their following has been steadily growing here, and with performances like this one, it’s not hard to see why.

When Foster the People began their set at 9 sharp with ‘Miss You’ it was hard for fans to ignore the dark storm clouds slowly rolling towards Central Park, however as the band continued to play hit after hit, everyone seemed to get lost in the music for about an hour. Standouts included ‘Helena Beat’ early on in the set, ‘Love’ a bonus track that seemed to get lost on the crowd, and ‘Warrior’ which featured guest vocals from Kimbra.

As the night progressed, the sky got darker, and the intricate array of lights that Foster the People brought with them became more apparent. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, Foster the People have probably the best lighting setup outside of arena shows. While the band didn’t treat the crowd to any new songs, there was an improvisational jam that occurred towards the end of their set, and it was refreshing to hear something new from the band.

Foster the People chose ‘Houdini’ to end the main set, and just as they started to play it, the rain clouds that had been taunting us all night finally unleashed a downpour. As a horn section joined the band on stage to add layers of sound to the song, a loud clap of thunder rang out in perfect timing with the song. The band quickly rushed off the stage after the song, and the usually inevitable encore suddenly didn’t seem so guaranteed. When they did finally return to the stage, it was clear that the band didn’t have much time before the venue decided to end the show due to inclement weather, so they treated the fans to the song that most people had waited for – ‘Pumped Up Kicks’.

The song was, as usual for a live performance, extended and remixed with an outro that incorporated dubstep as well as other electronic music genres. Towards the end of the song, Mark Foster jumped off the stage and joined the fans in the rain, singing up close and personal to the fans that have supported this band throughout their meteoric rise to fame. With news that this would be the last U.S. tour supporting ‘Torches’, this was a fitting beginning to the tour, and hopefully we’ll be graced with a sophomore album sooner rather than later.

Foster the People setlist
1. Miss You
2. Life on the Nickel
3. Helena Beat
4. Broken Jaw
5. I Would Do Anything for You
6. Waste
7. Warrior (with Kimbra)
8. Love
9. Call It What You Want
10. Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)
11. Warrant
12. Houdini
13. Pumped Up Kicks (with remix outro)

25 Apr

A month shy of the one year anniversary of Torches, Foster The People have released the video for their fourth single, “Houdini.” The video premiered worldwide today on MTV and is streaming on Directed by Daniels (The Shins, Chromeo, Battles), the video for “Houdini” is a darkly comedic take on the age-old saying “the show must go on.”

On the heels of groundbreaking performances at this year’s 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards® and Elton John’s AIDS Foundation Oscar Party, Foster The People will kick off their Summer tour on May 29th including three sold-out nights in New York City’s Central Park playing to 17,000. The band will also make their debut at this year’s Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival. Foster The People will go on to play multiple sold-out shows in major cities around North America, including nights at Chicago’s Congress Theatre, the Gibson Theatre in Los Angeles, and a performance at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado (see all dates below). Support along the way will include The Kooks, Tokyo Police Club, Mayer Hawthorne & The County and Kimbra.

During their summer tour, Foster The People will reunite with The Beach Boys in Cubbie Fink’s hometown of San Diego, CA at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, as well as in Mark Foster’s hometown amphitheater, Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.

Foster The People released their GRAMMY nominated album Torches in May of 2011 which, to date, has sold over 800,000 copies in the US. The band’s GRAMMY nominated single “Pumped Up Kicks” has now been certified 4x platinum.

Watch “Houdini”

Foster The People on tour:
5/12 Carson, CA KIIS FM Wango Tango
5/25 San Diego, CA Cricket *Opening for The Beach Boys
5/29 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield (SOLD OUT) &*
5/30 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield (SOLD OUT) &*
6/1 Columbus, OH The LC Pavilion (SOLD OUT) &*
6/2 Kansas City, KS Livestrong Sporting Park
6/4 Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theatre &*
6/5 Austin, TX The Backyard (SOLD OUT) &*
6/7 Alpharetta, GA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park &*
6/8 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
6/10 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion &*
6/11 New York, NY Summerstage (SOLD OUT) $*
6/12 Montreal QC Lachine Canal $*
6/13 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blossom *Opening for The Beach Boys
6/14 Philadelphia, PA Mann Center for the Performing Arts $*
6/15 Boston, MA Bank Of America Pavilion (SOLD OUT) $*
6/17 Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit (SOLD OUT) $*
6/19 Toronto, ON Downsview Park $*
6/20 Chicago, IL Congress Theater (SOLD OUT) $*
6/21 Chicago, IL Congress Theater (SOLD OUT) $*
6/22 Minneapolis, MN US Bank Theater at Target Center $*
6/25 Burnaby, BC Deer lake Park
6/26 Seattle, WA WaMu Theatre AT Qwest Field @*
6/27 Troutdale, OR Edgefield Amp (SOLD OUT) @*
6/29 Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre Berkeley (SOLD OUT) @*
6/30 Universal City, CA Gibson Amp. (SOLD OUT) @*
7/1 Universal City, CA Gibson Amp. (SOLD OUT) @*
7/3 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amp @*
7/5 Magna, UT The Great Salt Air @*
7/6 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre @*
7/7 Las Vegas, NV Cosmopolitan @*

& The Kooks opening
$ Tokyo Police Club opening
@ Mayer Hawthorne & the County
* Kimbra is supporting all dates

14 Feb

Warner Bros. Records artist Kimbra has been selected to support Foster the People on their US summer tour. The dates kick off May 29th with two nights at Rumsey Playfield in New York’s Central Park, and run through July 7th in Las Vegas, NV. The Kooks, Tokyo Police Club and Mayer Hawthorne will also be supporting on selected dates throughout the tour.

This year is shaping up to be an extremely busy one for the 21 year-old singer and songwriter. Prior to heading out with Foster the People, Kimbra will be performing at the SXSW Music Conference in Austin, TX March 13-17, after which she will be opening for Gotye on his nationwide run. That string of shows begins March 22nd in Washington, DC and will continue through April 12th in San Francisco, CA.

Originating from Hamilton, New Zealand, Kimbra has been performing her jazz-inflected pop since she was 14. Her Australian debut, Vows, has spawned three hit singles, is certified platinum, earned her a “One to Watch” rave from Rolling Stone Australia and won Kimbra the ARIA (Australian Grammy) for Best Female Artist. Several of the songs on Vows are included on her current US EP Settle Down, which was released in October 2011. The title track is already getting airplay on KCRW and the video, which has over six million views, was recently selected as iTunes Video of the Week.

Kimbra’s haunting vocals and impassioned delivery on the Gotye track “Somebody That I Used to Know” have helped propel it to an international hit: the video for the song has 70 million views and it is climbing the US radio charts. Kimbra recently joined Gotye onstage for the US television debut of “Somebody That I Used to Know” on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Kimbra is currently working on additional tracks for her debut album for Warner Bros. Records with such producers and songwriters as Mike Elizondo and Greg Kurstin. The release is set for summer 2012.

Watch the official video for “Settle Down” here: and purchase the Settle Down EP here:

Kimbra US tour dates are as follows:

March 13 – 17 – SXSW Music Conference – Austin, TX


March 22 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
March 23 – Tower Theatre – Philadelphia, PA
March 25 – Terminal 5 – New York, NY
March 27 – Webster Hall – New York, NY
March 29 – House of Blues – Boston, MA
March 30 – Corona Theatre – Montreal, QC
March 31 – Kool Haus – Toronto, ON
April 2 – Pease Auditorium – Ypsilanti, MI
April 3 – Aragon Theatre – Chicago, IL
April 4 – Epic Event Center – Minneapolis, MN
April 6 – Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO
April 8 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC
April 10 – Showbox – Seattle, WA
April 11 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
April 12 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA


May 29 – Rumsey Playfield – New York, NY
May 30 – Rumsey Playfield – New York, NY
June 01 – LC Pavilion – Columbus, OH
June 04 – Verizon Theatre – Grand Prairie, TX
June 05 – The Backyard – Austin, TX
June 07 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre – Alpharetta, GA
June 10 – Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia MD
June 11 – Summerstage – New York, NY
June 12 – Lachine Canal – Montreal, QC
June 14 – Mann Center – Philadelphia, PA
June 15 – Bank of America Pavilion – Boston, MA
June 16 – The Fillmore – Detroit, MI
June 19 – Downsview Park – Toronto, ON
June 20 – Congress Theater – Chicago, IL
June 21 – Congress Theater – Chicago, IL
June 22 – US Bank Theater – Minneapolis, MN
June 25 – Deer Lake Park – Vancouver, BC
June 26 – WAMU Theater – Seattle, WA
June 27 – Edgefield Amphitheater – Troutdale, OR
June 29 – Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA
June 30 – Gibson Amphitheatre – Los Angeles, CA
July 1 – Gibson Amphitheatre – Los Angeles, CA
July 3 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
July 5 – The Great Salt Air – Salt Lake City, UT
July 6 – Commerica Theater – Phoenix, AZ
July 7 – The Pool at the Cosmopolitan – Las Vegas, NV | | |

12 Feb

Maroon 5 performed “Surfer Girl” and Foster The People performed “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” as part of a tribute to the Beach Boys. Then Adam Levine and Mark Foster joined the Beach Boys for “Good Vibrations.”

Watch it all below:

28 Dec

Foster The People performed “Call It What You Want” and “Warrant” on Last Call with Carson Daly.

Watch the videos below and pick up Torches on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD, Vinyl

Call It What You Want


14 Dec

Following a SOLD OUT headlining US tour that just concluded last night, The Kooks are thrilled to announce their return to North America in 2012 as special guests of Foster The People. Tickets go on-sale this Friday, December 16th.

Their latest Astralwerks release, Junk of the Heart was produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air, Belle & Sebastian), and recorded in The Sound Factory (Los Angeles) and Sarm Studios (London). The band’s third album sees The Kooks solidifying their position as a bona fide album band with trademark killer hooks from their undeniable first single “Junk Of The Heart (Happy)” to the electro dub of “Runaway” and the infectious new radio single “How’d You Like That.”

The band recently made three TV appearances including performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show With David Letterman as well as Jimmy Kimmel Live! The band also appeared on MTV’s 120 Minutes with Matt Pinfield and performed on KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic and WNYC Soundcheck. Lead singer Luke Pritchard also has his own column in The Huffington Post.

Junk of the Heart follows The Kooks’ multi-platinum debut, Inside In/Inside Out (2006) which peaked at number two in the UK Album Charts and its platinum selling UK number one follow-up, Konk (2008). The Kooks have sold over 2 million records globally.

The Kooks as Special Guests of Foster The People


5/29 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield/Central Park — BUY TICKETS HERE
5/30 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield/Central Park — BUY TICKETS HERE
6/1 Columbus, OH LC Pavilion — BUY TICKETS HERE
6/4 Grand Prarie, TX Verizon Theatre — BUY TICKETS HERE
6/6 Austin, TX The Backyard — BUY TICKETS HERE
6/7 Atlanta, GA Verizon Wireless (Pavilion) — BUY TICKETS HERE
6/10 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion — BUY TICKETS HERE

14 Dec

For Los Angeles based trio, Foster The People, this year included three headlining sold-out U.S. tours, a gold album for their debut release Torches, two Grammy® nominations for ‘Best Alternative Album’ and ‘Best Pop Duo/Group Performance,’ and a 3x platinum single in “Pumped Up Kicks.” With 2012 around the corner the band is excited to announce they’ll be back next Spring; kicking off a national tour on May 29th with two nights in New York City, making stops in 21 cities and ending on July 6th in Phoenix, AZ. Tickets are on sale this Friday, December 16th.

For the upcoming tour, Foster The People is partnering exclusively with luxury experience site Gilt City to sell advance tickets to shows in 19 cities throughout the country. Members will have the opportunity to purchase pre-sale tickets (ranging from $41 to $76 by city) and a limited edition lithograph designed by Foster The People. Pre-Sale tickets available at Gilt starting today:

Foster The People “in one year have gone from local favorite to a phenomenon,” explains the LA Weekly, who were among the first to catch the band playing their residency to 200 fans at the Echo in January 2011. Since its release in May of 2011, Torches has sold over 1 million copies worldwide. This summer they will wrap up 18 months of touring by playing iconic amphitheaters around the country.

Foster The People 2012 Tour Dates:
5/29 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield *
5/30 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield *
6/1 Columbus, OH The LC Pavilion *
6/4 Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theatre *
6/5 Austin, TX The Backyard *
6/7 Alpharetta, GA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre *
6/10 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion *
6/12 Montreal, QC Lachine Canal #
6/14 Philadelphia, PA Mann Center for the Performing Arts #
6/15 Boston, MA Bank Of America Pavilion #
6/16 Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit #
6/19 Toronto, ON Downsview Park #
6/20 Chicago, IL Congress Theater #
6/22 Minneapolis, MN US Bank Theater #
6/25 Burnaby, BC Deer Lake Park &
6/26 Seattle, WA WaMu Theatre &
6/27 Portland, OR Edgefield &
6/29 Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre &
6/30 Los Angeles, CA Gibson Amphitheatre &
7/3 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre &
7/5 Salt Lake City, UT The Great Salttair &
7/6 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre &
7/7 Las Vegas, NV The Cosmopolitan &

* (w/The Kooks)
# (w/Tokyo Police Club)
& (w/Mayer Hawthorne & The County)

To see the video for the bands latest single “Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls,)” watch here.

The band also stopped by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to perform their new single: Watch Here

12 Dec

By Jennifer Trainor

Friday night, December 9th, SiriusXM’s Alt Nation hosted a private Foster the People concert at the Bowery Electric for a hand full of contest winners. Vinyl banners posted in front of the venue and on the walls inside boasted “TONIGHT ONLY” giving the air that something special was happening. Touring non-stop for the last year, two recent Grammy nominations, and Pumped Up Kicks having gone platinum, it’s no stretch to claim FTP as the “it” band for 2011, already proving they could sell out Terminal 5 a couple nights in a row. But this was different – it was “tonight only” and it was for the lucky – a lucky 150 people maybe? Kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if you’re a fan, to see a band at the height of their buzz, in a setting as intimate as your backyard.

In a room the size of a Manhattan studio, with exposed brick that you’d undoubtedly pay extra for, Mark Foster took the tiny audience through a short and sweet semi-acoustic set – once he could get some sound out of the guitar that is. With no time for proper sound checking, the band had just arrived at the Bowery fresh off the stage at Madison Square Garden’s Z100 Jingle Ball, the sound needed to be tweaked to Foster’s liking. Adjustments made, the set opened with Houdini, a track from the EP that became popular, despite it’s lack of official “single” status, with early fans looking to get their hands on everything FTP they could. Stripped down and raw, you can really appreciate Foster’s voice and the passion behind it, telling us – “focus on your ability”, advice we can see he’s taken to heart.

Unfortunately, during an acoustic Foster the People set, we don’t get as much as we’d like from band members Mark Pontius (drums, percussion) – still sporting his Movember ‘stache – and Cubbie Fink (bass, keyboards, backing vocals) – but just enough to tease us. The true sweet spot of this band truly lies in the complex instrumentation brought to life on-stage during a full on performance, of which typically drums and creative percussion are the highlight. Supporting/touring musicians Sean Cimino (guitar, keyboard, synthesizer, and backing vocals) and Isom Innis (keyboard, synthesizer, piano, maracas, percussion, and backing vocals) complete the sound, and Innis’ energetic moves take on Foster’s signature shoulder shrugs. With barely room to move on the stage, this show did not contain any boogie-ing.

“Helena Beat” brought cheers from the crowd and a welcome acknowledgement from Foster with his signature smile and nod. Taking it down a notch, Foster sat at the keyboard to play a rare slowed-down rendition of Waste, and then one of his confessed favorites, “Ruby,” a non-released, but recorded track that the band plans to release in some form, at some point. For those looking to rock out and grab hold of the infectious rhythm of the album, there may have been some disappointment in the treatment of the songs and the chill nature of the performance, but to those who appreciate the songwriting and hypnotizing lure of Foster’s voice – it was a gift.

Giving ‘um what they wanted, “Don’t Stop” and “Pumped Up Kicks” engaged the audience, complete with the opportunity to fill in the “stop” after Foster’s “don’t” and a sing-a-long to what may be the most popular chorus of the year, “all the other kids…”.Thinking about the journey these guys have been on this year, it’s pretty amazing to be up close and personal, but for all the good the year has brought the band, the relentless touring and promo schedule is definitely taking its toll. They looked tired. And who wouldn’t be? But the band’s commitment to their fans and early supporters is genuine as they recognized Alt Nation as one of the first mainstream radio outlets to play Pumped Up Kicks and the listeners of Alt Nation as the early adapters, helping the band achieve the success they’re enjoying today. This performance was a thank you, about giving back.

For the final song, band members left Foster on-stage with a bass guitar to “try something here that I haven’t done before” – a poignant yet jam-driven Silent Night – “cause you know, we’re getting close”. A completely different sound for Foster the People, it was an interesting way to end the show. When the band left the stage and only returned for a wave and some high-fives with audience members, jaws dropped in disbelief that the show was really over, but it was. It’s unlikely that any fan was disappointed with the performance but safe to say everyone just wanted more. Even though it is the holidays, sometimes there’s only so much to give. And with all the Foster the People we got in 2011, for fans of this band, it was like Christmas all year long.

Side note: I’d feel disingenuous if I didn’t mention one more thing. Consider it a little PSA on behalf of the die-hards, avid concert-goers, and passionate fans – of any band this can apply. Attending this show, I learned that concert ticket contest winners – either just plain lucky, or avid entrants I suppose, are an interesting lot. In this case, all you had to do was call in and win when Alt Nation played the acoustic Pumped Up Kicks that was recorded earlier this year in their studios. One would imagine that someone sitting by a radio, phone in hand, ready to call at said time, would be a pretty dedicated fan, someone who really wanted to attend the show, to hear a band they really enjoy, right? Not so on this night. Surely everyone at the Bowery was a fan to one degree or another, and at the very least is still “pumped” for Pumped Up Kicks, but please, tell me why you would waste your good fortune of winning these highly coveted tickets, by talking throughout the entire, short and sweet 35 minute set? Do you really need to lean back and take that picture of yourself and your date during the performance? I’m astute enough to recognize the “music lover” from the “fans” but damn, for such a coveted experience…can we give these people a quiz before lifting the velvet rope? Next time you’re at a show with only 150 people, show some respect. Respect for the talent in front of you that you, at one point, must have had enough admiration for that you tried to win tickets to their show. And two, show some courtesy to those around you who actually want to hear the music. The cynic in me knows this won’t change anything, but on behalf of music appreciators, I had to say it.

10 Dec

Foster The People returned to Seattle this past Wednesday to play 107.7 The End’s Deck The Hall Ball.

Feast your eyes on photos of the band’s set courtesy of Marianne Spellman and read a review of the concert here.

10 Dec

Words by Grant Ruby, Photos by Marianne Spellman

Radio stations often put together disjointed lineups for such things as a holiday show like 107.7 The End’s Deck the Hall Ball. Because an alternative rock station like this plays so many bands from innumerable sub-genres, it can be difficult to find several acts that fit reasonably well together and can draw a large audience at the same time. In the 20th annual edition of the station’s winter festival, the end brought in some of alternative’s heaviest hitters. With Grammy nominated acts like Mumford & Sons and Death Cab For Cutie as headliners along with young up-and-comers Cage the Elephant, Foster the People, Young the Giant, Two Door Cinema Club and Grouplove lending support.

Because Deck the Hall Ball had so many bands this year, it was necessary to start rather early for a weekday. Grouplove took the stage at 4pm, and traffic kept me from getting to the venue on time to see their set. However, I had a chance to speak with the band later in the evening, and they noted that they’ll be back in Seattle with Young the Giant in April next year. I saw them in Salt Lake City earlier this year, and I can attest that they are a phenomenal live band. They plan to start work on their sophomore release this summer, after the tour with Young the Giant.

More photos of Grouplove from the Deck The Hall Ball

Two Door Cinema club was one of three bands on the bill that I hadn’t seen live before. They were very high energy, and tracked as many songs from their debut Tourist History in their allotted thirty minute window. They hit on two of my favorite songs from the band in “I Can Talk” and “Come Back Home” among others. Though playing second in a long bill, the early crowd supported them as though they were headlining. Two Door responded with a great, high-energy set that was great for long-time fans and new fans alike. Though their album has been out for less than a year, I am excited to hear new music from this band; they are one of the many bright spots on the horizon for Alternative music.

More photos of Two Door Cinema Club from the Deck The Hall Ball

Young the Giant was the next band to take the stage. Just prior to the start of their set their label rep walked up to me to say hello. He was very excited for me to see his band for the first time, and I met his enthusiasm as the first chords of their set began to echo in the arena. This band is surprisingly high-energy when they play live; at least they were this night. Several times throughout their set I found myself thinking “This is awesome!” They have a showmanship not seen in a lot of “indie rock” bands who tend to eschew that element of performing for a more introspective approach. Not these guys. Lead singer Sameer Gadhia was all over the place, alternately singing into both of the microphones at the front of the stage. As the band began to wind down they played “Islands,” one of the more down tempo tracks on their eponymous debut album. The fullness of sound coming from the band, even when taking it down a notch, was noticeable, and where the crowd can be lost when a band plays a ballad, Young the Giant kept the attention of the sold out show and rewarded them with a fantastic performance of an amazing song. They played their current hit “Cough Syrup” early in the set, and closed with the song that put them on the map: “My Body.” The crowd erupted at the first notes of the bass line that starts the song, and the band fed off the increased energy and delivered a resounded finale to their already meteoric, if all too brief, set. Throughout their time on stage Gadhia repeatedly reminded the audience that they will be back in April for a show at the Moore. A show that many in the audience will surely attend after getting a taste.

More photos of Young the Giant from the Deck The Hall Ball

Foster the People performed amazingly on the heels of the previous band. I have seen these guys twice, both in places that hold well under 1,000 people, and they have come a very long way since playing the intimate confines of Kilby Court in March. They have learned how to perform to a large crowd in the short time since catching on commercially. Unlike the previous bands this day, Foster the People incorporated a sizable lighting element to their performance. Tapping the songs that you’ve no doubt heard many times on your local radio station like “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Don’t Stop,” they built the audience into a frenzy with their synth-assisted pop melodies. With their big light show and bigger sound Foster the People proved their condensed rise to the top has been no fluke. They have learned the tricks of playing to an arena audience, which will only help them continue to play to large audiences. So many bands that have “overnight” success don’t learn how to play to the larger crowds quickly enough, and it is more than apparent from this performance that they are not going to fade back into obscurity, but are seizing their opportunity and are looking to dominate the landscape for years to come.

More photos of Foster the People from the Deck The Hall Ball

Cage the Elephant was the next band to take over the spotlight. After the crowd was worked into a frenzy by the dance friendly tunes of Foster the People, Cage brought the rock back to the stage. As I tweeted that night, “Cage the Elephant is one of the very best young rock bands today.” Cage represented a shift change from the newest and brightest of the Alternative format to the middle-weights. The first band of the day that has more than one album out, Cage the Elephant are tireless in their touring, and their commitment comes out on stage. I have had the pleasure of seeing Cage live four times now, and this was definitely their largest crowd, the only other to come close was the first time I saw them at Coachella in 2009. Lead singer Matt Shultz has improved as a frontman every time I’ve seen the band perform. His antics on stage, and his penchant for diving into the crowd, repeatedly, help them to connect with the audience and turn an arena show into a club show. To the crowd’s delight, the band kicked off their set with “In One Ear,” the opening track from their debut album. During their second song, “2024,” Shultz made his first foray into the crowd. In a year when the twentieth anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind was celebrated, Cage the Elephant is one of the few young bands with an obvious influence, and it is very obvious. With their punk rock aesthetic and minimalist light show, which allowed the rock to speak for itself, Cage the Elephant delivered the greatest performance of the day. To finish their set, the icing on the cake, the band played “Sabertooth Tiger” as Shultz once again found himself in the crowd, standing aloft on the hands of those in the pit, as every person in the house looked upon the spectacle.

More photos of Cage the Elephant from the Deck The Hall Ball

With each act upping the ante and making it increasingly more difficult for the following act, Death Cab For Cutie accepted the challenge of following the heaviest act of the day as home town heroes returning to Key Arena for the second time in as many months. Only six weeks prior the boys from Bellingham held their homecoming and played a huge show at the same venue. I was curious how they would change their set list for those that attended both shows, and they made quite a bit of changes to keep from repeating themselves. Though they were limited in time, the band managed to squeeze in three songs they hadn’t played at the end of October, including a second track from their 2000 album We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes. They also played crowd favorites like “The New Year,” “Soul Meets Body,” and “I Will Possess Your Heart.” Even some minor glitches and feedback couldn’t derail the band as they continued to play for the monstrous crowd without missing a beat. Even though their time was truncated, they managed to give the crowd another great show that spanned most of their catalog.

More photos of Death Cab For Cutie from the Deck The Hall Ball

To finish the festival, Mumford & Sons took the stage and wasted no time surging into “Lover’s Eyes,” and never letting up. It isn’t easy to close out a long day of music like this, but the British bluegrass rock band performed admirably and kept the crowd whipped into a frenzy for most of their set. With Mumford, the subtlety of their performance was what stood out the most. Yes, they have a lot of dynamic range, going from full boar to a crawl and back sometimes within the same song. Their horn section were ridiculously good, adding a depth to the songs that isn’t fully realized even on the album. I also didn’t realize (but wasn’t surprised to learn) that Mumford is such a jam band. They took a couple songs on long tangents before coming back to finish a verse. It was reminiscent of Dave Matthews Band. The highlight for me was “Little Lion Man;” not because it’s a popular song or that they played it very well (though they did play it very well, with a few small twists), but because of the Christmas lights strewn about the arena from the light rigging out across the floor. When the lights came on, they hadn’t been used all day, the room immediately shrank. It was though the roof fell in on the place and an intimate show erupted from the rubble. The feeling was palpable in the room, and the energy fed the band to a roaring crescendo through the song with thousands of fans yelling “I really fucked it up this time” back at the performers in unison. As the band wound down, and the encore break hit, the exodus began and it was apparent the day was ending. The band returned to play their smash hit “The Cave,” capping a great day of music with one of the best songs performed that day.

More photos of Mumford and Sons from the Deck The Hall Ball

As I left the venue with the herding crowd, there were many stories being told, many favorite moments being recalled, and many a happy face. Some of my favorite bands all on one stage together being shared with a few thousand friends. What better way to spend a Wednesday evening? I can’t think of a single one.