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

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.

  • Alex Miller

    Have never even heard of these guys

  • Alex Miller

    But OK, have heard this song. Sound like one-hit wonders.

  • Patrick Quinby

    This is band is terrible and has no place playing the Red Rocks parking lot much less the amphitheatre.

  • JS Martin II

    Wow…I wonder if this writer gets out much…FTP is definitely not aiming for my demo but the album Torches can stand on its’ without relying on P.U.K. … If it was just one song, the band wouldn’t be selling out venues cross the country entering Year 2 of their tour schedule. And if GnR went off stage without playing Sweet Child O’ Mine would be disappointed as well…okay, maybe a bad analogy, but the meaning is clear. You don’t have to like a band to understand their popularity, and FTP is riding a nice wave right now…

  • Cyndi Maupin

    Foster the People are coming to Red Rocks for the 4th of July weekend! these guys are really good and fun to watch… saw them down at ACL this past summer…. Might have to be 2012 concert to go to!!!

  • Johncue

    They are terrible live. Check out their SNL performances for proof. Yikes.

  • Somejme

    I like songs about shoes and shooting people. 

  • Bryity

    The whole album is good. and, Foster The People and Mayer Hawthorn both have been popular in the festival circuit. I cant believe how biased this article is. don’t hate. I’ll be going, and I’m pretty sure I wont be alone. 

  • Mtnsound

    Not a fan, but I remember when Dave Matthews Band played a half-filled Fox Theater on Nov 18, 1994, then headlined Red Rocks on his next tour in Aug. 95.

    • Pearlstreetpimp

      uhh, that November dmb run was three nights and was way sold out.  so 2000 people, then red rocks.

  • Jmpmk2

    I’ve heard a few songs that were catchy and well-written — nothing remarkable enough to spend money on, but not trash.  The dude’s voice, outside of studio processing, leaves a lot to be desired, but I imagine those invested in the music won’t complain.

    If I were a fan, I would be more concerned about the band not having enough material to justify the venue.  Last show I saw there was The Cure, and they played nearly three hours.  Foster the People, playing everything on their record, wouldn’t fill 40 minutes.  That’s why the writer takes umbrage with the booking.  Red Rocks is for staging epic musical events — acts with proven clout — not cutesy radio pop bands with one single.

    As an aside, while doing some wikipedia research, I discovered Isom Innis plays in the live band.  He did some music out of Colorado Springs for a few years, and has had his hand in a few Denver projects too, like the last Chain Gang record.