Fitz and the Tantrums can pack a house.
The Los Angeles-based neo-soul rock group played for a sold-out Electric Factory crowd as part of its Bright Futures Tour with Capital Cities on Nov. 1.
The crowd of bobbing heads, some beaming with their neon glow sticks, others still in the Halloween spirit, was backed up all the way to the merchandise tables. The upper deck bar was packed with people moving to the music. The decision to do a co-headlining tour with Capital Cities, which is best known for its song “Safe and Sound,” seems to have paid off.
“We are just one week into the co-headlining tour with Capital Cities and we couldn’t be happier,” Fitz drummer John Wicks said via email. “We hung out with the CC guys last summer, backstage at a couple of festivals and really hit it off both personally and musically.”
Capital Cities released its debut album in June and Fitz and the Tantrums released its sophomore album in May.
Capital Cities performed its set in front of a giant pair of light-up wayfarer sunglasses, illuminating the stage with colors and lights pulsing with the music and staring the crowd in the face for close to an hour.
The dance-pop party anthems of Capital Cities got the crowd, especially the younger concertgoers, cheering. The band finished its set by playing a remix of “Safe and Sound,” turning the show into more of a DJ-led rave.
“[Capital Cities] seems to have a similar goal in their live performances of allowing the audience to let their guard down and just dance party for the evening,” Wicks said. “It’s really a lot of fun.”
After the set ended with the crowd spinning T-shirts and jackets over their heads, at the request of Capital Cities, the sunglasses were retired, guitars quickly tuned and a big heart began to glow in the background.
With a low-profile entrance, Wicks and the other instrumentalists of Fitz and the Tantrums took the stage. This was followed by front-man Michael Fitzpatrick and vocalist Noelle Scaggs hopping and clapping their way out onto the stage. The band opened with the upbeat “Get Away,” which is on its latest album “More Than Just a Dream.”
Fitzpatrick and Scaggs have powerful on-stage chemistry. They move across the stage together, facing each other, exchanging verses and combining for ruthlessly catchy harmony and hooks.
The band went back-to-back with songs with no time to waste. This busy stage presence reflects the band’s schedule.
“‘More than Just a Dream’ came out May 7, and we have not stopped touring for any substantial amount of time since then,” Wicks said. “We had the pleasure of going on the road as the opening act for Bruno Mars as well as doing our own headlining dates, and now this current tour with Capital Cities.”
The last time the band played in Philadelphia was for the Made in America Festival alongside Beyoncé, Nine Inch Nails and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
The band’s Motown influences are evident in its live shows. For as much as the band blends its set with contemporary danceable melodies and tours with an electronic band like Capital Cities, the band has a genuine nature about its show.
“I think recorded music has returned to its earliest business model in that you tour and show off your abilities as a live performer in order to make a go of it,” Wicks said. “Thankfully, Fitz and the Tantrums’ calling card has always been our live show and the crazy amount of energy we convey every night.”
With a genre of music that’s sometimes impossible to pinpoint, a dynamic live performance and what seems to be a steady flow of tunes, it seems unlikely that the band’s energy will burn out.
“We are very thankful and make it known that we realize how lucky we are to be playing to sold-out venues every night,” Wicks said. “None of us take this for granted.”
Brendan Menapace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.