Prancing, dancing till he (almost) dropsBy Pocholo Concepcion
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Foster the People was not even a figment of our imagination before we saw its recent concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Now we’re avid fans—blown away by a level of energy, passion and talent that is hard to top.
Fronted by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Foster, the band was the portrait of a gang totally immersed in the magic of music. Opening with bursts of the percussion-driven rhythms of its song, “Miss You,” FTP instantaneously drove the crowd crazy, as Foster wiggled all over the stage, overflowing with adrenaline.
With a Bob Dylan drawl and a slight falsetto, Foster sang melodies that bounced to a happy beat. Dancing like a kid let loose in his first teenage party, he darted to the left and the right, and around his bandmates, until he bumped into his keyboards and almost fell offstage.
“Yet again I’m hustling, hustling, hustling,” he warbled on “Life on the Nickel”—a song which seemed to have been written after a flirtation with a decadent lifestyle. But watching FTP’s other members relentlessly pounding on the drums, percussion and keyboards, we felt the tune was a celebration of all things beautiful.
The band was a joy to behold: drummer Mark Pontius hammering away with two session players multitasking from keyboards to percussion; guitarist Cubbie Fink cranking out riffs but not showing off like a rock star; and Foster himself shifting from keyboards to guitar to percussion as naturally as changing clothes.
The beat, yes, the beat, was all that mattered—primal, African-derived rhythms whose intensity escalated on “Broken Jaw.” It was a dance tune that the ladies could revel in, but the energy and attitude reverberated with the rawness of punk.
There were snatches of Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” riffs when Foster strapped on a guitar to play on “Don’t Stop,” but overall the music was anchored on a delirious dose of steady thumps—otherwise known as disco in the 1970s, but without the air of pretense and predictable choreography from the performers.
DJ David Guetta rocks
At first, the idea seemed outlandish: a performance at the SM Mall of Asia Arena featuring French DJ David Guetta (voted No. 1 by DJ Mag’s fan poll) plus two other club jocks as guests.
But it happened on Oct. 10, with some 8,000 people grooving in one big party, shouting out their approval as the DJs rocked the house with nerve-shaking mixes.
The synthesizer-induced beats and sweeps created a gigantic wall of sound that seemed to crash into one’s head.
Instead of causing pain, however, it flowed like a shot of extra-strong coffee or excellently brewed beer, swimming through the brain, delivering a pleasurable punch.
DJs Kaz James (from Australia) and Alesso (Sweden) warmed up the crowd with their respective spins, which differed with a particular mix—in Kaz James’ set, a delightful segue into Oasis’ “Wonderwall.”
Guetta’s entrance was preceded by video graphics that looked like a battalion of UFOs.
He went on to play “Titanium” from his 2011 album “Nothing But the Beat,” sending the audience into a screaming frenzy.
Another track flashed its barefaced title on the video screen: “Sexy Bitch” featuring Akon on vocals from Guetta’s 2009 album “One Love.”
When the next track, “The World Is Mine” (from the 2004 album “Guetta Blaster”), came on, Guetta looked like the king of the dance universe—his every move a command for the adoring throng to surrender to the music.
Recent Stories:Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.