Foster the People might be the perfect college band.
The indie pop trio had several thousand Penn State students in the palm of its hand Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center with catchy songs and infectious energy.
Foster the People took the stage to a sea of cell phone cameras with “Best Friends,” from its album “Supermodel,” released earlier this year. The rest of the 90-minute set was split between songs from “Supermodel” and 2011’s “Torches.” The BJC’s lighting was perfectly synced to every song and added to the experience.
While the band was solid, there was no mistaking that frontman Mark Foster was the star of the show. He was Michael Jackson one minute, dancing around stage, and Elton John the next, sitting at the keyboard for a ballad. Some of the biggest applause of the evening came when Foster whipped off his leather jacket and threw it to the side of the stage before the band played “Coming of Age.”
With so many Penn State students in attendance, it only took a few seconds of quiet between songs for “We Are” chants to break out across floor. The pause between songs also allowed of time for selfes and Snapchats in the crowd.
The band even got into the Penn State spirit, with bassist Cubbie Fink sporting a Nittany Lion jersey for the encore. Foster also acknowledgedthat his band was playing for the “new generation.”
“You are the thinkers, the dreamers and the challengers of authority,” Foster said. “You are the truth seekers and the risk takers, and we need you to be brave.”
The evening opened with a set from rock band The Velvet Teen, who Foster said he’d been a fan of for the past decade. Their sound was heavier than Foster the People’s — a cross between Arcade Fire and Coldplay, with lead singer Judah Nagler channeling Chris Martin on his vocals.
Foster the People’s hit “Pumped Up Kicks” closed the evening and amped up the energy even higher. As for anything else that happened at the show? You’ll have to check Snapchat to find out.