05 June 2010

Fitz & the Tantrums - May 28, 2010

I had the privledge of seeing Fitz & the Tantrums last Friday night at the Mercury Lounge, a band I've written about before here. Fitz and his Tantrums has been one of the few musical acts in the past couple years that I became genuinely excited about within an instant of listening to them. I originally found them on iTunes while looking up similar acts to Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and upon listening to Fitz, their sound immediately hit me as the exact kind of soul revival sound that I'm always talking about here on Music Mavens.

On their studio EP, Songs For a Break-Up - Vol. 1, they have an authentic quality to their retro sound that makes me actually believe them as opposed to some other wannabe soul revitalists that have hit the airwaves as of late. Live, this band takes that a step further and brings a fun vibe to their music that is missing in a lot of modern concert atmospheres. It's not just a concert but an interactive event. Songs like "Winds of Change" and my personal favorite "Don't Gotta Work it Out" brought people of all ages down to the ground, up to the sky, and got them shaking their derrieres all over the place.

And while it may seem that Fitz is the lead vocalist of this band (he's got some moves!), co-singer Noelle Scaggs manages to steal the spotlight more than a few times within the concert with her high octane dancing and gorgeous vocal stylings that were not only impressive but surprising - I didn't recall her having such a large part on the record. Similarly, drummer John Wicks and bass player Ethan Phillips, stood out significantly to me throughout the show and that alone is a testament of a good band dynamic.

Although I didn't come in anticipating such a high energy, almost event-like spectacle, it was one of the most interesting concert experiences I've ever had. Seeing an entire floor of twentysomethings and beyond, probably most tipsy, obeying every word of a musician - no matter how silly (ex. "It's been a long week, go crazy!") - is usually unheard of yet Fitz & the Tantrums have already mastered the art of audience/musician interaction. They're hitting that line right between fun and cheesy but in a way that manages to stay classy. Fitz and the gang's excellent choice of smart suits don't hurt either.

A lot of credit has to go to a band that doesn't even have a full length album out yet they get a crowd going wild as if they know the words to every song - even though they've probably never heard most of them in their life.

Check out their website here. Very cool cats. Wish I had the setlist.

Photo courtesy of Fitz & the Tantrums Myspace

No comments: