Foster The People at The Olympia, Dublin

The Olympia Theatre was heaving when Californian indie pop sensation Foster the People played their sell-out show on 28 November. Fans draped over the balconies and piled into the pit to see the animated thrashing of drums and dancing. (The chart success of infectious tunes like Pumped up Kicks and Helena Beat had called for a change in venues from the more modest Academy)

The gig was highly anticipated after their impressive Electric Picnic performance. Lead singer Mark Foster told the audience he was delighted to be finishing their European tour in front of the welcoming Irish crowd who “always have their arms thrown out like they’re going to hug us”.

They opened with Houdini. It’s driving beat and playful synth had the crowd stamping their feet and chanting back lyrics. They continued dutifully through every track on their debut album ‘Torches’.

Lead singer Mark Foster alternated between playing keyboard, percussion, synth and guitar. He sang the effortlessly, at times doubled over the keyboards head banging with the energy of an excited child and, dare I say it, pretty enviable dance moves.

Drummer Mark Pontius displayed equal enthusiasm. Positioned at the front of the stage, unusual for a drummer, probably due to the importance of this element to the band’s unique sound

They closed with their biggest hit Pumped up Kicks. It included an electro funk breakdown during which copies of the playlist (and lead singer Foster) were thrown into the crowd. They played a tight set, but the band’s true merit lies in the cheerful atmosphere they create.

Sara Dalton

Set list:
Houdini
Miss You
Life on the Nickel
I Would Do Anything
Broken Jaw
Waste
Call It What You Want
Don’t Stop
Helena Beat
Warrant
Pumped Up Kicks

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