Rocking Out With Foster the People

Photo by Ben Chua

Grammy-nominated band Foster the People enlisted the help of marching bands around the country during its most recent tour. Best known for its breakout hit “Pumped Up Kicks,” the group brought local marching bands on stage throughout the venues during performances of its new single “Houdini.”

“It was really cool; people were screaming and high-fiving us,” says Netta Rotstein, a trumpet player in the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band. “By the time I had to play, I could barely hear anything over the crowd.”

While the logistics and venues varied from city to city, the song usually featured four marching band members on stage with Foster the People and additional band members marching through the audience.

Some of the other bands featured during the tour were Ohio University from Athens, Ohio; West Essex High School from North Caldwell, N.J.; Upper Dublin High School from Maple Glen, Pa.; University of California, Berkeley; Boston University; Baltimore’s Marching Ravens; Milton (Ga.) High School; and Chattahoochee High School from Johns Creek, Ga.

The marching band performers got the VIP treatment. “We were considered the artists; everyone treated us well and were very appreciative, thanking us for being there,” Rotstein says. “As far as the crowd reaction, people were very surprised to see us. It was really fun. We got really into it.”

About the author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.

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