AUSTIN - Alt rockers Foster The People decided to play their anti-violence anthem "Pumped Up Kicks" Friday during Weekend Two of ACL, after reportedly declining to play the hit song during the first weekend of the festival.
While our news partners at the Austin American-Statesman reported that the band didn't specifically attribute the song's absence on the setlist last week due to the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, frontman Mark Foster did give a lengthy speech about the need for unity before the band jumped into a cover of Jon Lennon's "Love."
On Friday of Weekend Two, Foster did not address the band's decision to perform the song this time around. Instead, he took a moment to address racial inequality by calling attention to his shirt that read, "[Expletive] racism."
The single, one of the band's most successful songs that's largely responsible for launching their success, has garnered extra attention as of late after the song fell off their setlists during various dates on their tour since the Vegas shooting, speculated in part due to its lyrics.
"Pumped Up Kicks" includes lyric's such as, "Robert's got a quick hand. He'll look around the room, he won't tell you his plan. ... Yeah found a six shooter gun in his dad's closet hidden oh in a box of fun things, I don't even know what, but he's coming for you, yeah he's coming for you. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks better run, better run, outrun my gun."
In a 2011 interview with USA Today, Foster addressed how the lyrics could be negatively perceived.
"The song is not about condoning violence at all. It's the complete opposite," he said. "The song is an amazing platform to have a conversation with your kids about something that shouldn't be ignored, to talk about it in a loving way."
Messages to representatives from Foster The People for a statement on their recent decision to continue performing the song were not immediately returned Friday night.
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