Jun 22, 2012

Foster the People Concert Setlist at Congress Theater, Chicago on June 21, 2012

Foster the People Concert Setlist at Congress Theater, Chicago on June 20, 2012 | setlist.fm

The show was colorful.  There was effective use of multi-media, strobes, bubble blowing machines, a mystery person tossing paper airplanes from up above, and of course confetti.  We also received a surprise visit from the Ghostbusters Marshmallow Man!

A bit like an ugly sinister looking Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters?

Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man - he was evil remember?

The sound was not perfect and it would have been nice to have one acoustic number without all of the hullabaloo.  The dancing and arm waving crowd on the floor appeared to be pleased and the Congress Theater was packed for the second of two sold out shows.   We stood and sat (fold up chairs for the taking) in the back of the first floor, on a platform, stage center.  If we were on the floor and in between the throngs of people, claustrophobia would have definitely set in.  Everyone down there was sweaty arm to arm.  This concert was not for anyone with a seizure disorder (strobes and lights) or fear of crowds.  We missed the opening acts, Kimbra and Tokyo Police Club.  Apparently I did not get the memo that the show start time was moved up to 6:30 pm so we caught the tail end of Tokyo (the last 3 minutes of the last song).  So I will not be reviewing these performances although Tokyo and their horns did come out to play with FTP and that was pretty cool.  I have not heard good things about Kimbra's solo performances but at this point it would be rumor and not my opinion.  Feel free to comment at the end of the blog entry!

Here is a review also from Becca Waterloo, a trustworthy source with discerning music taste and a passion for all good music and good music venues:

Although I arrived late, I certainly wasn't mad about it. The Congress theater may seem like a rustic venue on the outside, it certainly is too rustic on the inside. No circulation on an 85 degree night made standing around in the back unbearable, (where the crowd was even more sparse than the front) my tickets played the most important role of fanning me. Foster has fun music, and their album is certainly underrated; the crowd seemed uninterested in their music unless you were 20 people from the front or closer. Half of the noise being made was dedicated to the conversations of the concert goers. Why did they bother coming? Mark Foster has a ton of energy (and an adorable body/face) which reminded me why I bought tickets in the first place. The stage setup was stimulating, with vibrant colors and visuals, cartoonish backdrops, confetti and paper airplanes. A short concert was expected when you see a band whose career is just kicking off the ground, and it showed through their only-one-song-encore, which was what the crowd went wild for ("Pumped up Kicks") My friend mentioned how she wished the mood of the crowd from the final song could have been how it was throughout the concert. Hipsters claim they're dedicated to music, but it sure didn't show in this crowd. I'd probably see FTP again, with a larger music library underneath them, and a much better concert venue. 

So Becca and I disagreed regarding the level of crowd interest and contentment.  We could not locate each other at the venue so Becca and I were with our respective friends (and opinions) but my friend Amy and I also stood at the back of the first floor stage center.  From what we could see from where we were, the entire floor below us (we stood on platforms), 100s of people, were dancing and waving their arms in the air forming one giant mass of moving sweat (but no one seemed to mind).  The folks near me were not talking and were mostly engaged with the show and/or dancing.

Take a look at the video here that I took to be your own judge:

For those of you who do not know this bands evolution, frontman Mark Foster moved from his hometown after finishing high school in Cleveland to Los Angeles to launch his musical career.  He got a job as a jingle writer and after meeting his bandmates formed Foster the People.  The name started out as "Foster and the People" but he changed the name because people kept saying Foster the People when he told them the name in crowded bars "Oh, so your band is Foster the People?  Cool". He then also decided that this spin on the name would be better since he wanted to be more of a charitable band.
The bands first hit "Pumped up Kicks" went viral in 2010 and here they are. Not bad for a high school grad.

Between Becca and I, we give the show a 3 out of 5 guitar rating for excessive heat and sweat, no acoustic vocal moments, a one song encore, and slightly over the top schtick ("Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!).   See photos and soon to be posted video for validity.

Helpful tips of the day:

Dinner before at the Paladar Restaurant and Rum Bar next door is a good spot to start your night.  Needless to say, they serve rum flights.  We opted for mojitos, coconut and blackberry, shrimp cocktail (served in a tall ice cream sundae glass with lots of cocktail sauce), salad with spicy guacamole and salad with candied pecans, apples, and blue cheese.  These choices were all refreshing for a hot night but we look forward to coming back for the entrees.  This restaurant was recently reviewed by The Hungry Hound and did get busy by the time we left at 7:30pm.  Becca says that Old Town Social was great for a pre-show bite too.

With regard to parking, it is zone 102 or meter.   I was carrying zone parking passes for the Wrigley area and for Bucktown (both valued highly).  I found a man standing outside near his home and asked him if he was willing to trade for one of his 102 passes for one of my highly coveted, hard to get passes.  He said something like "I do not need your stinkin' pass" (thankfully he did not say "lady") but kindly, catching us by surprise, went into his home to fetch us one of his anyway.  Hey, my stinkin' pass near Wrigley is worth $25 bucks on a Cubs home game day!  We have been generous and have donated passes to Cubs game patrons on occasion so I believe what goes around comes around.  Thank you Mr. Stranger for making your donation to our stinkin' cause.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, if we are recommending restaurants, I say the Old Town social; we ate with my bff's sister's boyfriend who is a chef there. amazing food.... great drinks, everything is local and/or organic. so yummy, i'd totally go back there!