Foster The People Bring Love and Light to Charlotte
Foster The People Bring Love and Light to Charlotte
Photo: Ben Pierson
Waking up Monday morning to the news of the massacre in Las Vegas was disheartening as a music fan, a music journalist, and a human being altogether. News like that hits home immediately and sent a shockwave through the music community unlike anything else. Despite the uneasiness surrounding the morning, it was clear that what Americans really needed most was something to uplift their spirits; a beacon of hope in a dark time. As night fell, music lovers across the country still headed out to their favorite venues to hear the bands they love the most in hopes of turning the somber events of the day into something good after all.
Security was amped up at the Fillmore in Charlotte, NC, Monday evening, but nobody seemed to mind. Everyone was eager to get inside to the nearly sold out venue and hear the bands.
First up was Cherry Glazerr, a four-piece rock band straight out of Los Angeles, California.
The energy was instantaneous in the packed out and gorgeous open layout of The Fillmore. With a strong female lead, and some heavy synths and bass, the band had the room’s attention and everyone was moving. I like to see a woman with no holds barred, letting loose on a stage in a room full of strangers and Cherry Glazerr delivered just that. At one point, lead singer, Clementine Creevy, pulled down her pants for all to see. Now, I’m not sure if this was a “stickin’ it to the man” gesture or a simple plead for everyone to go buy the underwear they had for sale at their merch booth. Either way, the crowd loved it and I’m sure they sold a pair or two of the undies as a result. Fun and energetic, I couldn’t think of a more perfect band to set the tone and mood for the band of the night, Foster The People.
A little after 9 o’clock, the stage was set and Mark Foster and fellow band mates entered the room. With a neon display set behind them and the words ‘Sacred Hearts Club’ flashing in various colors, the band started out their set with the first song off Sacred Hearts Club, “Pay The Man.” Strong and commanding, the crowd was instantly entranced with the synths and positive message presented by the band. “Say what you love/ it’s alright/ Don’t be afraid to find the light.” From there, they moved effortlessly into fan-favorites “Helena Beat,” “A Beginners Guide…,” “Life on the Nickel,” and “Waste.”
It’s really nice in this day and age to have a band like this who track after track has an overall positive vibe and is spreading a message of love and anti-what society finds normal. It’s easy to be discouraged in the times we are living in, but with Foster The People, we can find a temporary music refuge; a place of love and healing.
Next up were big hits from their latest album and the title of their current tour, Sacred Hearts Club. Beginning with “Doing It for the Money,” an anthem in the truest sense, stating their purpose as a band, and going into “Harden the Paint,” the crowd couldn’t be more in sync with the LA boys.
Moving into hour two of the phenomenal show, more hits from past albums like, “Are You What You Want to Be?,” radio hit “Don’t Stop,” and new single, “Lotus Eater” had the crowd in a dancing trance. In between each song, the applause and yells were ear splitting. I haven’t seen an audience this in tune with a band in a long time. It became clear, quickly, that this band has a bigger following than I ever could’ve imagined. With an influence borrowed from the surf rock of The Beach Boys to the punk rock attitude of The Ramones, FTP bring to the platform a sound both unique and awe inspiring. It was only fitting that they covered the iconic Ramone’s song, “Blitzkrieg Bop.”
Moving into the last leg of the night, was my personal favorite from 2011’s Torches, “Houdini.” A raw and personal song with a testament to understanding these times, Foster sings, “Sometimes I want to disappear.” Every day, we see another tragedy unfold before our eyes, just like what happened in Las Vegas, and often times I think how nice it would be to not have to deal with it all, but just like the lyrics of the song say, we are left with one option and that’s to “focus on your ability.” These words couldn’t ring truer in light of the events of this week.
A highlight for me was the track, “Sit Next to Me” off their latest record. Foster took the time to explain a little bit of the meaning behind writing the song. Whether we as an audience were in the building alone or looking for someone to take our mind off of things temporarily, we could take comfort in knowing that someone was out there, even if only for the night. It’s just a fun jam about finding a special person to share a moment of time with, worry-free and without fear. I’m pretty sure everyone in the building shared glances with a stranger or moved in a little bit closer.
The band came out for an ecore with new track, “Loyal like Sid & Nancy,” a funky beat that had the crowd on the tips of their toes and instead of finishing the night with their Grammy-winning track, “Pumped Up Kicks,” the band chose to cover the song “Love” by John Lennon in tribute to the lives lost in the Las Vegas shooting. Loved ones, new and old, gathered close as Foster sang the words of the legend in wake of the tragedy. It says a lot when a band can forfeit their most known track to put the needs of others first.
Clocking in at nearly two hours, Foster The People’s Sacred Hearts Club tour did not disappoint. I’ve waited three long years to get to see them in such an intimate setting and you best believe I will be back, given the opportunity. Check them out as they embark on the last leg of their 2017 tour here.