A few things about Saturday's way-sold-out show at the Fine Line with Foster the People that didn't make it into the review for print: 1) Mark Foster's willowy, whimpery voice is charming in short bits, but it really started to have a grating effect by show's end. 2) The final song, "Don't Stop," stood out from the rest of the synth-pop pack with its crunchy guitars and brawny gusto -- but it too was derivative, sounding like a remake of Blur's "Song 2" the way it seemed to be baiting sports-arena play. 3) Santa Barbara-reared opening band Gardens & Villa was a real treat, playing similarly dancey, falsetto-voiced synth-pop but with more subversive, Grizzly Bear-esque arrangements -- and with a heavy smattering of flute! That was the second flutist-equipped rock set I saw this week (after Iron & Wine on Wednesday), but it was made cooler by the fact that frontman Chris Lynch carried his grab-bag of flutes strung over his shoulder in a Robin Hood-looking arrow holster.
Foster the People has already booked a bigger return engagement Oct. 6 at First Avenue with opening band Cults, who have one of this year's best debut albums. Here's FTP's set list from the Fine Line:
Warrant / Miss You / Houdini / Waste / Call It What You Want / Life on the Nickel / I Would Do Anything / Broken Jaw / Pumped Up Kicks ENCORE: Helena Beat / Don't Stop