Fitz and the Tantrums - Crescent Ballroom - 8/4/13
Fitz and the Tantrums were the first band I ever reviewed for Up on the Sun, so seeing them Sunday night at Crescent Ballroom was a bit nostalgic.
But the "whoa factor" definitely was still there, from their energetic entrance to the end of the show. Everything seemed just as amazing as the first time I had seen them live, but a few differences were apparent from just a little over a year ago.
From the get go, Fitz and the Tants were very interactive with the crowd. Some people say "very" just to say it, but I stand behind that emphasis. They didn't just ask the crowd to clap and dance along -- they were in sync or even a little ahead of us. This of course is a certain style that the band possesses, not to mention their actual style in attire last night.
Drummer John Wicks was rocking black and white pin-striped long pants, along with his fresh, slicked-out Nikes with green laces, a green Bruno Mars shirt to match, and a fedora to top it all off. Lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick was able to rock his leather jacket for a good three songs before the Arizona heat demanded he take it off. Needless to say, thank goodness they were indoors for this show.
The live sound was spectacular. Many argue that vinyl is how music is supposed to sound; when they do I usually laugh and say, "No, music is meant to be live." And man, can Fitz and the Tantrums sound good live -- as tight or even tighter than what is recorded on their albums. Last night seemed as if nothing was even slightly lagging.
But the intimate connection the band creates with its audience was as important as their live sound. And having seen them, now, in small-show and festival settings, it's clear they're able to do so in multiple atmospheres.