Foster The People say ‘it felt wrong’ to play ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ after Las Vegas shooting

The band's biggest hit is about a boy imagining shooting his classmates

Foster The People passed up playing their biggest hit ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ the day after the Las Vegas shooting.

On Sunday night (October 1), a gunman opened fire on the audience at a country music festival taking place on the city’s infamous Strip. Hundreds of shots were reportedly fired over several minutes, causing festival goers to immediately flee the Route 91 Harvest Festival at around 22.30 (05.30 GMT).

At least 58 people have been killed and more than 500 injured in the attack, which is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history

Foster The People were performing in Charlotte, North Carolina last night (October 2) when they addressed the themes in ‘Pumped Up Kicks’. As Spin reports, frontman Mark Foster told the audience: “It felt wrong for us tonight to play ‘Pumped Up Kicks. It felt like it would’ve been irreverent, even though that song is about gun violence and stopping that.”

Instead, as well as urging the crowd to “[love] each other every day”, the band covered John Lennon’s ‘Love’. You can watch footage of that moment above.

‘Pumped Up Kicks’ centres around a protagonist called Robert, who imagines shooting his classmates. The band have previously stated the song “is not about condoning violence at all.” “It’s the complete opposite,” they told USA Today in 2011. “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.”