Governors Ball 2014: Foster The People Get Their 'Kicks' (Video)

Taylor Hill/WireImage for Governors Ball Music Festival
Foster the People perform during Day 3 of the 2014 Governors Ball Music Festival at Randall's Island on June 8, 2014 in New York City.

Foster & co. rock the big stage with a little help from Capital Cities' Spencer Ludwig.

Oh, what “Pumped Up Kicks” hath wrought. Foster the People played the big stage at Governor’s Ball last night (June 8), packing in a crowd who was mostly there to hear one song. But Mark Foster and company ended up impressing the casual onlookers with their earnest dance-rock, playing a set mostly focused on the better material from their last album, "Supermodel."

Governors Ball 2014

JACK WHITEPHOTOS: Live at Governors Ball!
Backstage Gov Ball Photo Gallery
Vampie Weekend's Taut Sunday Set
Axwell & Ingrosso Debut Songs
15 Hot Governors Ball Moments Sunday
Interpol Aces Gov Ball
Jack White's Red Hot Saturday Set
The Strokes Return to NYC
Skrillex Brings the Party
Childish Gambino & Chance The Rapper
13 Hot Day 2 Moments
Outkast Rules Day 1
15 Hot Gov Ball Moments Day 1
Damon Albarn & De La Soul Team Up
Phoenix's Explosive Set
Janelle Monae Jams, Speaks! (Video)
Bastille Covers TLC

Foster proved to be a surprisingly engaging frontman live at times: He danced from one side of the stage to the other; he jumped from keys to guitar at the keys, and his voice remained strong throughout, occasionally soaring to a impressive falsetto. The second cut, “Are What You Want to Be?,” pounded and twisted with extra percussion and Eastern melodies, reportedly inspired by Foster’s travels in Asia and North Africa while creating, "Supermodel."

He could be a tad self-serious at times, closing his eyes for wide-mouthed vocal wails and at one point lecturing the crowd about the evils of modern technology and social media: "Isolation is our enemy… We can't lose our community."

At one point, the band was joined by Spencer Ludwig, the trumpeter from Capital Cities, another overly earnest indie-pop act who are dealing with their own monster hit, “Safe and Sound.”  

An hour-plus into the set, the inevitable finally arrived: the band broke into the earworm-y groove of “Pumped Up Kicks,” which hit No. 3 on the Hot 100 in 2011 and launched Foster the People to the main stages at festivals worldwide. Naturally, the audience went wild, happy they’d gotten what they came for. Foster didn’t seem to mind, telling the packed-in crowd: "You guys were brilliant.”

Billboard's Governors Ball 2014 Video


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.