WTF: Foster The People to headline Red Rocks, dozens to lose faith in music industry

Foster The People will headline Red Rocks Amphitheatre on July 3, 2012, promoter AEG announced this morning.

Apparently, everyone believes that the hook-laden “Pumped Up Kicks” — alone — has a chance of selling about 9,500 tickets to one of the world’s most historic and revered outdoor venues.

Is everybody wrong? No, probably not.


Don’t get me wrong — I know that Foster The People released a full length toe-tapping LP this year, but to think that anyone would go to this show and not wait with bated breath for “Kicks” is akin to expecting a Parrothead to leave a Buffett show satisfied without his glass of “Margaritaville.”

Foster The People played the 550-capacity Bluebird Theater just this past summer. A few months before, I watched them with shrugged shoulders during a day party at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. Granted, this was a little bit before “Kicks” hit No. 9 on iTunes’ Top-Selling songs of 2011 and the video below reached, you know, 48 million views on YouTube.

We’ve seen this kind of leap before, but not in such a short time span. Many Reverb staffers pride themselves on catching Arcade Fire at the Larimer Lounge on the “Funeral” album cycle in 2004 before they were Red Rocks or 1stBank Center headliners, though that particular jump took three years (and the help of LCD Soundsystem for Red Rocks).

What happens when a band blows up before they were even small to begin with? Will the value and credibility of live music continue to decline as YouTube effectively replaces a band’s need for years of touring in an ominous white van to play a Tuesday night show for 15 people? Of course, that’s less of a real concern than a hypothetical question. But seriously — would they book Numa Numa at Red Rocks if they thought he could sell it out?

I suppose if we find another beer-pong’ing easy-flowing jam like “Kicks” next summer, no one will complain.

Tickets for the show, $37.50, go on sale 10 a.m. Friday through Ticketmaster.

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John Hendrickson is the managing editor of Reverb and a multimedia journalist for The Denver Post. Follow his rants on music and more on Twitter.