GRAMMY Camp - SoundCheck With Foster The People

Audrey Long, high school student from Holy Names Academy in Seattle, WA

On October 9, 2011, I participated in a GRAMMY Camp - SoundCheck for the fast-growing band Foster the People at Showbox at the Market in Seattle, WA. As my friend Andrea and I arrived at the venue, we saw Foster the People unloading their gear from their bus. Later, we sat in the very front row and experienced the music up close. This chance to dive into the music industry for a few hours was both inspiring and educational while still being fun and entertaining.

During the sound check, Foster the People performed their music acoustically and professionally, giving us a good sense of what it would be like to be in a travelling band. Each song they played showed us a different aspect of their music (a strong beat, strong bass, strong vocals, etc.). Hearing the songs live, as opposed to on the album, made me realize all of the work that goes into producing an album after the songs are recorded. The vocal and electronic effects not present in a live performance but prominent in the album make for easy listening, but I actually enjoyed hearing the acoustic version more. Hearing Foster the People play live proved to me that the band members are normal people, just like anyone, with extraordinary talents.

After Foster the People finished performing three songs, they held a question and answer session. During this time, I asked the band if any opportunities for traditional instrumentalists, such as violinists, exist in the popular music industry. Their detailed response, encompassing many opportunities, existing bands including said instrumentalists, and encouragement inspired me to consider playing genres other than classical on my violin. In the long run, I believe that branching out a bit will benefit me, even if I do not later choose a career in the music industry.

In conclusion, attending the GRAMMY Camp – SoundCheck with Foster the People was both fun and inspirational. In the future, I would love to attend more sound checks to experience different styles of bands and different stories of success. Besides, you can never ask too many bands about electric violins.

Foster The People is:  Mark Foster, Mark Pontius, Cubbie Fink

Photographer:  Raymond Spaddy

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Lauren Padilla

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