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Thursday, June 28, 2012 - Page updated at 10:00 a.m.
Foster the People pumped it up at WaMu Theater
By GENE STOUT
Special to The Seattle Times
Concert Review |
If Foster the People wasn't still so massively popular, the L.A. indie-pop trio might have been dismissed as a one-hit wonder months ago.
It's been more than a year since the release of the band's debut album, "Torches," and the irresistible single "Pumped Up Kicks," but the trio led by former jingle writer Mark Foster still ignites the passions of its legions of fans.
Performing Tuesday night at WaMu Theater, lead vocalist and keyboard player Foster came across as a thoroughly engaging frontman completely at ease with success.
He and band mates Cubbie Fink (bass, background vocals) and Mark Pontius (drums, percussion) whipped concertgoers into a dancing and singing frenzy. Two additional musicians playing guitars, drums and synthesizers gave the set a rich, full sound.
The set began with "Miss You," featuring Pontius' tribal-drum beats, and included such catchy pop-rock songs as "I Would Do Anything," "Waste" and "Call It What You Want."
The stage featured inflatable characters resembling those on the "Torches" album cover, as well as eye-popping LED lighting and two video screens offering close-ups of band members.
After a brief pause late in the set, the band returned for an encore of "Ruby," a melancholy song about a young mother's struggles, and finally, the song everyone had come to hear — the addictively danceable "Pumped Up Kicks." Fans erupted in celebration.
Support act Mayer Hawthorne, wearing a red suit and horn-rimmed glasses, performed silky, soulful songs in a retro, almost tongue-in-cheek style. Hawthorne draws inspiration from such soul stars as Isaac Hayes, Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield and Barry White — and clearly isn't shy about imitation.
Hawthorne and his band, The County, brought their lively set to a close with a perfunctory version of Hall & Oates' "You Make My Dreams (Come True)."
The concert opened at 8 p.m. with New Zealand-bred singer and guitarist Kimbra, wearing a billowy blue outfit and backed by her skillful touring band. Effervescent and energetic, Kimbra performed a brief but entertaining set featuring "Cameo Lover" and "Settle Down," the title song of her 2011 EP.
Gene Stout: firstname.lastname@example.org
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