Foster the People at The Venue Scottsdale, 9/13/11

Foster the People The Venue Scottsdale Tuesday, September 13

Foster the People is the kind of band you hope to see when you shell out money for a concert. It's just that seeing was the difficult part.

The dance pop trio and creators behind the song of the summer, "Pumped Up Kicks," stopped by The Venue Scottsdale for an early week show on a stormy night. Just enough rain seeped through the venue's roof for the show to facilitate a steamy, sweaty dance party.

The venue itself is a tricky beast. The standing room only floor either grants you one of the best spots in the house, or you're stuck behind one of the crowd's many tall dudes (they like the gesture wildly, full beer in hand). Everyone else pusehd forward to see, but honestly, you don't really need to see the performance to enjoy Foster the People's performance.

From the moment the band took the stage, last night's performance was all about energy. A viciously cool, hyperactive light show added dramatic effect to lead singer Mark Foster's efforts as he tinkered with the list of instruments he plays. First, he's behind the keyboards for "Life On the Nickel." Then, he's smashing a cymbal on drummer Mark Pontius' set during "Call it What You Want." The dude is a maniac. 

​The band only played 12 songs, and an encore came after just 10 of them. Then again, the band doesn't have a more than those songs to choose from. This band blew up so fast that they just haven't had the time to build up a library, which makes it all the more surprising that they sound so tight and together, and are excited to play each song. You'd think touring the same songs night after night would get tiring, but if FTP was, you'd never know it.

The crowd was feeling every song. Standing near the stage, you could hear a wall of voices from behind, singing the lyrics right back to the band. Bodies crammed near the front of the stage and danced without regard for the person next to them. Not in a rude way, mind you. It's just that everyone danced like a wild idiot, and yet nobody gave a fuck.

It was a bit of a shock. I kind of expected the crowd to be Top 40 radio listeners that just want to hear "Pumped Up Kicks," maybe "Helena Beat" and GTFO. They were familiar with the deeper cuts, if you can say a band with 12 songs has "deep cuts."

"Pumped Up Kids" was appropriately the final song -- you have to make them stay for the whole show -- and by far the highlight of the night. Foster jumped on equipment and danced his ass off, finally jumping into the crowd for a little surf session. He tripped getting back up onto the stage, but reemerged with a huge smile on his face.

It's that kind of playful, boyish energy that makes a FTP show one to see, even if you don't know each line and lyric.

Last night: Foster the People at The Venue Scottsdale.

Overheard in the Crowd: "I cahnt buhlieve I muhsed Cults. I'm so puhsed. I didn't come to see these schmucks." - Chick who missed the opening band, inching her way to the front to see "schmucks" Foster the People.

Random notebook dump: If you're going to host a concert, prepare ahead to make sure the line to get in doesn't extend three blocks through Old Town.

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Christina Caldwell