Foster the People wows in rock-filled live performance

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There are many artists who play at ACL or any other festival who sound disappointingly worse in person than on CD — Foster the People is the opposite. Having been an indifferent FTP fan before seeing them live on Friday, I was astounded to find how much better they sounded in person.

Digitally, Foster the People is great, fun and catchy, if not a bit pop-y. But live and in person, the three-man band was dynamic enough to be a bonafide rock group, something that their die-hard fans in attendance obviously realized years ago. They sound so much better live, I’m tempted to compare the difference to the sound disparity between vinyl and tiny smart phone speakers.

Opening their set with “Are You What You Want To Be?” off their new album, Supermodel, FTP proved their expertise in performing — these guys could probably do that set in their sleep. As the sun set and the temperature finally cooled down, Foster the People kept the energy building higher and higher, until every single person was on their feet and dancing for their most well-known song: “Pumped Up Kicks.”

Before ending with “The Truth,” a politically charged ballad about wading through all the lies in the world to find the hope that is in all of us, lead singer Mark Foster implored the crowd to “step up and take down the things that are more powerful than you.”

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