Foster the People tackles Neil Young at Lollapalooza

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Foster the People, L.A.'s fast-rising electro-pop act, hasn’t been shy about its genre-hopping ambitions. Still, the the masses awaiting ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ at Lollapalooza in Chicago this last weekend could be forgiven for being surprised when the band launched into Neil Young’s ‘Heart of Gold.’

Though the song has cropped up in Foster the People set lists in the past, the Lolla performance, which was broadcast on YouTube, gave the band perhaps its widest-audience yet. The video is embedded below, although Pop & Hiss has no guarantee it will stay on YouTube forever.


Pop & Hiss wasn’t in Chicago to cover Lollapalooza, but our friends at sister publication the Chicago Tribune took in the performance, and let’s just say they weren’t won over by the concert. The Trib said the band ‘wrecked’ Young’s classic, and wrote that Foster the People’s take ‘disastrously’ resembled Marcy Playground’s ‘Sex and Candy.’ Ouch.

Yet give frontman Mark Foster credit for taking chances. He’s said that the model for his band is Brit-pop heroes Blur, and the Damon Albarn-fronted band never encountered a genre it wouldn’t tackle. ‘There are no rules, and you can do what you want,’ Foster earlier told The Times of his approach. ‘That’s what I want this band to always be. My favorite artists have always done that. The Beatles did that. The Beach Boys did that. Bowie did that.’


Foster the People: Pumped up, indeed

Album review: Foster the People’s ‘Torches’

Foster the People: Moving beyond ‘Pumped Up Kicks’

-- Todd Martens