My previous experiences with Fitz and The Tantrums had been very brief. I first heard them in passing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival last year, and decided that they sounded like “A little indie girl’s dream”. Little did I know that this band would prove to be much, much more than this. A couple moths later, I again heard them in passing at San Francisco's Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. This time I actually got to listen a bit, and really liked what I heard. I kind of forgot about this band until my friend Shana came up to me with a couple free tickets to see them at The House Of Blues in Hollywood. It was a Wednesday night and I had an 8 am class, but I had always wanted to go to a concert at this venue, and the tickets were free.
The doors opened at 730, so my friends and I got there around 9 because, LA traffic, man. It turned out we didn’t miss much. I didn’t hear anything about an opener and we had to wait another 45 minutes before Fitz and The Tantrums came on stage. The venue was a little confusing because of all of the Coke Zero and Conan advertising everywhere, and that everyone seemed to have gotten their tickets from a friend. This was all cleared up when Andy Richter came on stage as the MC and we discovered the giant camera hovering above the crowd, so I guess this was a kind of promo to expand the target audience from “little indie girls” to people that watch Conan or can make it to the Sunset Strip on a Wednesday night (which this band totally deserves because they’re awesome).
Looks like everyone is trying to get a shot of the hot action up on stage.
After much anticipation, Fitz and The Tantrums finally came on stage, and man, did they deliver. Their April 2011 profile in Rolling Stone called them a “band to watch”, which I only find half accurate. Even though Noelle Scaggs, co-lead singer and songwriter, literally did not stop moving for the entire performance, the band’s sound was unbelievably full and energetic. On top of both singers having absolutely insane vocal chords, the drummer and keyboard player were spot on, Noelle's tambourine playing was legendary, and the sax player ripped it up on the alto, tenor, and bari.
Septuple threat! I couldn't find his name, but this sax player can also rip it on the keyboard, base guitar, flute, and sing.
In addition to the crowd being full of die-hard fans who seemed to know all the words to every song, not once did the energy in the room drop. I didn’t know what this rockin’ soul band could do to make me love them any more, then all of the sudden they're covering Jack White. I’m not usually one for videos during a show, but Noelle’s dance moves reached a whole new level and their cover was just too good. So, after only missing a bit at the beginning I whipped out my cell phone to take this video for you all:
Fitz and The Tantrums cover The Racontours' Steady As She Goes. For some crazy action on the tambourine, check out 1:50.
Over all, Fitz and The Tantrums is a powerhouse soul group who can make music accessible enough for everyone while retaining their individual sound and talent.
-Paige, Nothing in Particular