On June 21, 2013, the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, North Carolina hosted Foster the People and opener Elijah Wyman of Asheville’s own Decent Lovers. The crowd lined up hours before the show began, wrapping around the side of the venue before the doors opened around 7:15.
Opener Elijah Wyman performed solo and introduced himself by letting the audience know just how nervous he was to be playing in front of the Foster the People crowd. However, after a warm welcome from the audience, Wyman seemed to overcome his nerves and hit his stride, switching between his autoharp and acoustic guitar throughout his set.
After Wyman’s set and a few more minutes of waiting, Foster the People finally took the stage. Due to the band’s sporadic shows and absence from the tour scene, the audience was overwhelmingly excited when they emerged. Foster the People opened with a couple of old favorites, and then with an authoritative nod from Mark Foster, launched into a new, unreleased song.
The band played a variety of songs from their first album, Torches (Call It What You Want, Houdini, etc.), but also a number of new songs. Their new songs are definitely distinguishable from their last album, but still obviously Foster the People. Their new album should prove to be a more mature sound and personally, I can’t wait for it. The new songs also lend themselves to a new visually stunning stage complete with masked dancers. The band certainly knows how to put on a show, but their talent is not overshadowed by the plethora of new effects.
Foster shared a couple of intimate moments with the audience in Asheville, stopping once to tell a story of his first love, Amelia Gray, who left Los Angeles for Asheville years before. His acoustic performance of the new song “Fire Escape” also proved to be an intimate moment, as he was alone on the stage with only an acoustic guitar.
Of course, Foster the People closed their show with their hit “Pumped Up Kicks”. The danceable beat overwhelmed the arena, with lights flashing and the entire audience dancing. It was a strong closure to the show and the audience left the arena on a high.