Sunday, June 26, 2011

Live Review - Fitz & The Tantrums @ Central Park

The forecast called for rain but the heaven's decided to be kind to the hundreds of day trippers descending onto Rumsey Playfield in Central Park for a day of great music. By the late afternoon as premier DJ Rich Medina was getting the audience in a groove for a free concert that included newcomers King, soul legend Lee Fields and the hottest band in America right now - Fitz and the Tantrums. It was Fields who was the headliner, and a damn good one too, but it was Fitz who stole the show and had a packed crowd dancing and moving in the blistering evening sun.
Fitz and the Tantrums have been a band we picked to break out in 2011 and so far they are doing a great job at making us look very good! The band is currently very much in demand thanks in part to the massive success of their single and video "Moneygrabber," we have covered the band before in the winter nights of January as they packed Bowery Ballroom and moved the floor like a 1940's swing club and yesterday they had the audience up the lawn. It has been a marathon weekend for the band as they played Pittsburg Friday, Central Park Saturday then hung out in Brooklyn to DJ then off to Atlantic City as they play for the Dave Matthews Band Caravan, but this has been the life of Fitz and the Tantrums for the last two years. Pounding the pavement but it is paying off in big ways. A neo-soul band with swing and Motown elements that have the ability to make, even the world's worst dancer (yours truly) get into the action. The stage chemistry between singers Michael Fitz and Noelle Scaggs is amazing sexual tension that leads to each song being a "he said, she said" trial of heartbreak and doomed romance. These are the elements to the band's words but the band's music is another story. The four piece Tantrums band is one hell of a stage band and a tight group of musicians that will leave you stunned by the gigs end. The band and the crowd could not beat the heat, so they turned it up and with sweat for strangers pouring all over each other, no one seemed to mind because the band was just as dirty and just as entertained by the crowd as they crowd were entertained by the band. With highlights that included fantastic covers of The Raconteurs "Steady as She Goes" and Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams" - there was something for everyone while Fitz added his own flair. For a free show, everyone got their monies worth and the band may have just played their biggest crowd in New York to date.