Mark Foster of Foster the People performing live at The Observatory North Park on May 26, 2017.

Mark Foster of Foster the People performing live at The Observatory North Park on May 26, 2017.

Foster the People/Facebook

There is something special about the first show of a new tour. There are also many questions that need answering: What will the set list consist of? What will the visuals look like? Will there be any new music performed? On Friday night at The Observatory North Park in San Diego, those questions were answered for Foster the People fans lucky enough to score tickets to the sold-out opening night of their 2017 Summer Tour.

Riding the release of their new EP, III, Foster the People immediately kicked things into full gear with “SHC.” The speeding guitar riffs presented a new way for the band to open a show and one that may be a mainstay for some time. Dawning an eye-catching, glimmering and glistening shirt, lead singer Mark Foster seamlessly traded in one instrument for another, or for none at all, as he moved through a jam-packed set list which incorporated music representing Foster the People’s complete history. Songs like “Warrant” made an appearance for the first time since 2012, while new tracks such as “Sit Next To Me” received their live debut. Fan favorites “Helena Beat” and “Pseudologia Fantastica” brought eye-popping visuals to life from what could only be described as three-dimensional windows, while the performance of “Lotus Eater” kept fans eager and excited for the new full-length album due to be released later in 2017.

The night took a cool turn about midway through the set as Mark took the time to step down to the front row and acknowledge a diehard fan that was “rocking out” all night. The fact that it was her birthday made this moment extra special and she even received a birthday gift from the band: a drumstick hand delivered by Mark himself!

In what may be another mainstay featuring a new song, Foster the People closed out the first portion of their show with “Doing It for the Money.” This pre-encore closer did not disappoint. The heavy bass lines and catchy chorus brought the audience together for three and a half minutes of pure energy.

As the band left the stage, there was not one person who thought the show was over. Sure enough, the drums kicked in and a keyboard riff rang through the Observatory that everyone knew. “Pumped Up Kicks” is the band’s biggest hit to date and brought the crowd right back into the action of the night before what might be considered a surprising finale with “Broken Jaw.” A song not currently available on Spotify — this song was an iTunes exclusive — “Jaw” may be a song some newer fans are not as familiar with, but it’s almost six minute run time was a fitting end to an electrifying night; one fans will no doubt remember for a long time to come.  

Foster the People are out on tour all summer and AXS has tickets here for select dates.