This spring's MGMT show might have been the beginning of something. It's still too early to call it a trend but the kind of bands that became popular in MGMT's wake -- in large part by sharing the group's dance/indie-pop DNA -- are once again following the duo's lead and trekking to Alaska. Now we're getting a visit from Foster The People, the third of the decade's buzziest synth-pop bands to visit the state in just the past few months.
Like Capital Cities, another "indietronica" group that played Anchorage back in June, Foster The People can trace its roots to jingles. Capital Cities' founders initially collaborated on songs for commercials. Foster The People's front man, Mark Foster, got his start composing TV jingles in Los Angeles. The band he put together struck gold with "Pumped Up Kicks," which has appeared on TV more than a few times in its own right.
And like MGMT and Capital Cities, Foster The People is a nominally "indie" band, though their records come courtesy of some of the biggest entertainment companies on the planet. They're three of the most recognizable examples of how the word's been turned inside out, kind of like "alternative" rock in the '90s.
I spent a lot of words in these pages back in May comparing MGMT's pop culture cachet to that of Nirvana two decades ago, and the success of Foster The People feels similar to the major label signing spree that put some unlikely music on mainstream radio in the '90s. So if MGMT is Nirvana in this analogy, Foster The People is maybe Stone Temple Pilots. Capital Cities is Bush.
Either way, this is music that will soundtrack future episodes of "I Remember the 2010s" while some newly has-been'd celebrity waxes nostalgic about skinny jeans and those tank tops with the big text on them. That's not a knock. That's what pop music is and does and what makes Foster The People playing a show in Anchorage during the actual 2010s more noteworthy than, say, Collective Soul playing here a couple weeks ago.
Foster The People
When: Doors at 5:30 p.m., Foster the People start at 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Moose's Tooth Pub & Pizzeria
Tickets: $47.50 at beartooththeatre.net
21 and Over