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Concert Review

Concert Review: Foster The People Prove They’re More Than Just “Pumped Up Kicks” In Singapore Show

By  February 2, 2018

It’s easy to judge a band by a single that wildly took off in 2010. But if there’s anything that reinforces Foster The People’s undeniable talent, it’s beyond that song’s existence. Yes, I’m talking about the indie-turned-mainstream hit Pumped Up Kicks.

The evening started with much apprehension for most who were not drawn to Zepp@BIGBOX’s ability to host bands of the genre. I, myself, wasn’t one of them. After all, a deafening sound system can be easily ignored with last night’s trippy visuals that could potentially transcend one’s soul to another dimension. I’m not even kidding.

The band opened with Pay The Man that welcomed the crowd to a kaleidoscopic stage set up and frontman Mark Foster’s dad dance moves (one of the highlights of the show, to be honest).

The set then took on a steady throttle of energy with Helena Beat, sending a surge of adrenaline to audience members who were just warming up. But there was this particular lady standing right beside me who did not move a single inch since the show started. Not even a head bob of approval. Was she just completely stunned by the fact that the band was playing music live right in front of her to express any emotions? Who knows? She did remain that way the entire show. To each his own, I guess. 

Though the lack of movement beside me was a bit of a concern, Foster The People delivered a variety of songs like Waste, Doing It For The Money, and Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls) that set just the right mood for an internal frenzy. Couple that with, again, the blend of multiple colored hues on stage and you’ve got yourself a cinematic moment.

The flawless transition from Lotus Eater to a cover of Ramones’ Blitzkrieg Bop also proved that the band is more than just their breakthrough hit.

Foster The People has always been criticized for their unclassified genre, almost being forced by critics to find a certain identifying sound. But that would be unfounded for a band that has the talented multi-instrumentalist Isom Innis who calls himself “Jack of all trades” and Mark Foster whose vocals captivatingly reverberated off the room – even making an audience member shout, “WHO BROKE YOUR HEART, BRO?” after belting out the ballad Ruby.

With incarnations like Torches and Sacred Hearts Club, Foster The People continuously reclaim their position as a band that can’t be defined by a single genre. We’ve got moments of raving and aggressive headbanging for “avant-garde” songs like Pseugologia Fantastica and several slow dancing bits with Sit Next To Me.

One would quickly expect the band’s infectious energy to last until after the encore, but the set didn’t exactly end with a bang despite the sing-along that was during Pumped Up Kicks. Is it perhaps time to retire the song as part of the encore? Maybe.

While the show undoubtedly lifted the crowd’s spirits, it’s inevitable not to gain mad respect for the quartet who took the time to meet everyone behind the barrier after the show. This is in addition to Mark Foster’s inspirational speech prior to the encore, leaving everyone with the words, “Love should be our mantra.”




Pay the Man
Helena Beat
Life On The Nickel
Doing It for the Money
Are You What You Want to Be?
Don't Stop (Color on the Walls)
Lotus Eater
Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones cover)
Pseudologia Fantastica
Call It What You Want
Coming of Age
Sit Next To Me
Miss You


Loyal Like Sid & Nancy
Pumped Up Kicks


Photo credit: Alvin Ho and Aloysius Lim for LAMC Productions

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