Photo Credit: Andy DelGiudice
Bands often compliment the audience, usually by calling them beautiful or wonderful or fun. But never sexy. Because a sexy audience is hard to come by. But that’s exactly what you’d find if you had gone to Fitz and the Tantrums at 9:30 Club last Saturday night. They’re a “neo-soul” band, which I assume means fun, loud alt-pop meets funky r&b band, because that’s the best way I can describe them. Upon entering the historic venue, you were given a white bracelet decaled with Fitz’s heart logo and installed inside it was a blinking light, but more about that later.
This show was wacky. I’ve never been to a show at 9:30 that has truly been all ages. There were people my age, older than me, my parents age, and everything over, under, and in between. But despite the obvious age differences, this crowd had energy. It was clear that this crowd was there to get down and dance.
Now if you’ve ever listened to their recorded stuff, don’t. Their recorded tracks are very very poppy and produced. They’re not bad, they’re just the complete opposite of their live performances, which have a larger fuller sound. Songs like “House On Fire”, that have huge bassy depth and a loud accents from their horn instruments are toned down in their recordings. They mixed up their song “Last Raindrop” to include not 1 but 2 sexy saxophone solos. And they take songs like “Spark” that has powerful loud live vocals and they hush them on the album. Their live music has a vibe and a sensation that attracts people, that makes us listen because it’s so strong and soulful. Their recorded music just doesn’t capture that.
And that’s why you should always see the band live. That and because they usually play a cover and covers are my jam. Fitz’s groovy cover of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” is a modern rebirth of the always relevant ‘80s hit.
Oh yes, and you must be wondering about the blinking bracelets that look like those fancy Nike bracelets that calculate your weight stamina, body fat, BAC, and all that jazz. Fitz and Noelle used the bracelets in the same sense that boy bands get girls to use their iPhone flashlights and 80s hair bands had their hardcore, beer guzzling fans wave around zippo lighters. Which was cool, and different.