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Concert Reviews, Music

Concert Review: Foster The People, St. Lucia @ Massey Hall

By: Adam Harrison (@AdamRHarrison) –

Foster The People.

It felt like a coming of age on Tuesday night at Massey Hall when Foster the People performed their distinct brand of indie-pop alternative music in Toronto. The sold-out crowd danced on their feet  throughout the night, in awe of the Los Angeles-based trio and the amazing acoustics of the classic Toronto venue.

Brooklyn-based indie synthpop group St. Lucia, named after the stage name of front man Jean-Phillip Grobler, opened the show and captivated the theatre’s attention quickly. The crowd quickly rose to their feet and danced to the blend of Duran Duran throwback sounds mixed with  worldly percussions presumably influenced by  Grobler’s birth and upbringing in Johannesburg, South Africa. St. Lucia filled their 40-minute set with songs from their first full-length album When The Night, including “September,” “Elevate,” and “Closer Than This.”

Foster the People opened their 90-minute set with “Ask Yourself” from their sophomore album, Supermodel. The band started strong, and after a couple of songs they really hit their stride on material from their first album, Torches. The first major crowd pleaser arrived with the first notes of “Waste” as almost 3,000 people joined along to sing “and every day that you want to waste, that you want to waste, you can.” No one could resist the urge to move their feet by the time the band reached hits like “Call It What You Want,” “Coming of Age,” and “Houdini” .

Multi-talented musician Mark Foster fronts the band, putting the Foster in Foster the People and showed his vocal talents when he hit notes so high that even Geddy Lee would be jealous. Three other multi-instrumentalists who performed on multiple instruments, including several synth and percussion gadgets, encircled Foster and his band mates, bassist CubbieFink, and drummer Mark Pontius throughout the evening. Everything combined made for one interesting and exciting concert experience.

Of course it would not have been  be a Foster the People concert without the mega-hit that launched the band to stardom, “Pumped Up Kicks,” reserved for the for the penultimate slot of the main set. Needless to say, the track received a loud roar and sing-along from the crowd. “Helena Beat”, another smash success for the band from Torches, closed the main set on an upbeat note, as the crowd cheered for more. The cheers echoed throughout Massey Hall when the band returned to the stage, an  ovation one would expect for veteran pop superstars.

The encore included their most recent single “Best Friend,” another bubbly buoyant song masking a deceptively depressing message about drug addiction – a songwriting tactic that the band has drawn on frequently to make their somber lyricism more optimistic. For one last chance to work in a pair of dancing shoes, the band ended the night with “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)”.

Foster the People delivered an outstanding and memorable performance worthy of the greats in one of Toronto’s most cherished and celebrated venues and firmly proved that the young, multi-talented band are more versatile than just one-hit wonders.

Check out our photos here.

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