Foster The People at The Congress
The one downside I’ve discovered about being from California, but going to school in Indiana (besides dying in the arctic winters) is that whenever I want to see a band they always happen to be touring on the West Coast when I’m in the Midwest and in the Midwest when I’m on the West Coast. It’s quite annoying to say the least. Even my roommate has walked in on me several times yelling at my computer screen over tour dates… and then she slowly steps back out giving me the “I live with a complete whack job” stare.
I’ve been playing this obnoxious game with Foster The People for over a year now. Every time I go on their website to check tour dates I’m always in the exact opposite location of where they are playing. But this summer I FINALLY BEAT THE SYSTEM. So take that. And not only was I able to see their show, but on top of that I got to interview them. Double whammy? I think so.
I arrived to The Congress Theater yesterday around 4 p.m. and on the way over I had the same giddy feeling as when I went to Disneyland for the first time. Before I exited the taxi, I had to take a few deep breaths because I was not about to make a fool of myself in front of one of my favorite bands. No. way.
I met up with Paul Natkin, one of the greatest photographers you will EVER meet, and we headed inside the venue and up to Foster The People’s dressing room to set up for the interview. Once we were done, we grabbed a cold bottle of water and quickly headed out to the lobby area. I kid you not, it was probably 100 degrees in that room. I wouldn’t even call it a room. The more appropriate word would be oven. So after cooling down a bit, Cory Lorentz arrived and the three of us went back to the oven to wait for the band. We were all chatting and then out of nowhere Mark Pontius and Cubbie Fink walked in…
Okay, so before I go any further I think you need to understand my one-sided relationship with this band. I started listening to them back when no one really knew the name Foster The People and I immediately fell in love with their sound. When I feel an instant connection with a band’s music I try to find out their story, watch interviews, and behind the scenes clips. I find that when I get a feeling of the band’s personality I enjoy their music that much more because it moves from me listening to complete strangers to people who I consider my musical friends (……..even though they have absolutely noo clue that I exist). This happened with Foster The People and I have been following them ever since. I don’t become obsessed in that “crazed fan” way or anything, but I do feel as if I know them. (I grew up as an only child so naturally I have a big imagination… that’s my excuse.)
As I was saying, Pontius and Cubbie walked in… my first instinct was to casually say, “Oh hey guys… wazzuuup?” But yeah, that didn’t happen. A few minutes later Mark Foster strolled in and again, I had to stop myself from acting like I’ve known the guy for a few years. Instead, we each introduced ourselves and closed the door to the oven where we were to bake at 350 degrees for the next 20 minutes.
After practicing this interview in the mirror for the past 24 hours, the moment of truth finally came. My first interview. Overall, it went pretty good. The guys were great to interview. They were very down to earth and just real people in general. It was nice because they reminded me of my friends from home… so much in fact that within the first 5 minutes of the interview I wanted to crumple up my sheet of notes and simply just talk with the guys. But of course, I had to stay on track. I’ll admit that I was a little nervous, not because I was finally meeting Foster The People, but because I had never done an interview before and I desperately didn’t want to mess up. (You see, I’m the type of person who will walk into a pole while texting or a screen door… not while texting.) So I kept picturing something going terribly wrong when I was practicing, but thankfully nothing did. Then we said our goodbyes and me, Cory, and Paul went to grab a bite to eat.
We returned to The Congress a few minutes before the show was about to start. And boy, the setting had changed. First off, the venue was PACKED. One thing is for sure, Foster The People certainly know how to sell out a show. Secondly, the temperature had changed from 350 degrees to 1,000 degrees. I realized why though… hanging above the stage was a big ol’ sun. Now imagine putting a bowl of ice cream next to the Sun… well I was that bowl of ice cream. But don’t get me wrong, melting into a puddle was well worth it.
Foster The People put on an amazing performance. They exceeded my expectations and lemme tell ya, my expectations were HIGH. Foster sounded great and he danced around stage like a Mexican jumping bean, but without the Mexican. Cubbie was jamming out on his bass the whole time moving from place to place looking like he was having the time of his life. And Pontius… well he was my favorite to watch. I’ve been to a lot of shows, but he was by far my favorite drummer so far. I mean the guy can PLAY. At one point I felt like he was going to bang a hole through one of the drums while simultaneously flying out of his seat because he was bouncing so much. You could tell the three of them were really into the music. It was great.
Needless to say, the night was legendary. So thanks guys, it was nice to finally meet in person.