Foster the People/Gardens & Villa @ Music Hall of Williamsburg 6.20.11

Photo by Greg Notch

As far as we're concerned summa-summa-summatime officially started one day before the solstice: A perfect sunny day punctuated by a great Wild Ginger dinner al fresco and fun courtesy of some of the sunshine state's finest dancey pant movers, Foster the People and Gardens and Villa's at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

We entered the venue, relieved to only have one opener between us and Foster the People with figurative fingers crossed hoping -- as usual -- the opening band would be on the right side of awesome. And boy did the Wizard make it so.

It was love at first listen with Santa Barbara's Gardens & Villa. The Michael Jackson loving band inspired major body rattles from us with a sound that features the best of 60s pop, 80s new wave and today's indie rock. Snail was half-way to loosing control of her bodily functions burning love holes into the MJ sweatshirt wearing multi-instrumentalist cutie on stage right, unable to remove her stare from his fancy footwork behind the keyboard.

We grooved to the tunes of their summery self-titled debut ourselves including now favorites "Spacetime," "Black Hills," "Cruise Ship" and "Star Fire Power" and wrapped it up with a cover of Gary Numan's synth hit "Cars." So impressed we were that we rushed to the merch booth immediately after their set for a copy of the album, on sale in advance of its July 5th release date. Listening that night at home we realized the album doesn't hold a candle to their live performance.

We discovered Foster the People via footage of an explosive set at SXSW and have come prefer the high-energy renditions of the jams from first LP, Torches on the stage to the less exciting studio versions. Of course, we were now super stoked to finally bear witness to their power punch of a live show in the flesh.

The LA band burst onto the stage in no time, flashing through the contents of Torches. They played on and on at full tilt, looking super adorable and happy as heck stopping only a few words of thanks and a shout out to a ticket giveaway winner who impressed the band with an interpretive dance on YouTube.
We danced on and on to the likes of "Hustling," "Don't Stop" and "Broken Jaw," annoyed "sexy" girls in process, only coming to a full stop to rest during epic mushfest "I Would Do Anything For You."

The magic came to close with encore, and certified rump shaker, "Helena Beat." Everyone went nuts.
We exited eager to rehydrate with some coconut water but not so much to start the trek back home, happy to have kicked off summer with this craziness and equally sad because it came and went so fast. Then we're all smiles again because we'll be getting down to FTP once again this summer when they open for Cut Copy in August at Celebrate Brooklyn. Hells. Yes!


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