Cities, Fitz & The Tantrums dance party rolls through the Rave
Fitz & The Tantrums and Capital Cities brought their contagiously danceable indie-pop to the Rave Saturday night for the last stop of their “Bright Futures” tour. Both bands showcased their soulful, disco-infused style to make for three hours of pure, unadulterated dance-party action.
Before the real show began, Los Angeles-based band, Beat Club, took the stage for a short, lackluster, seven-song performance. The band’s overall style mimicked the funk of Fitz, but ultimately lacked the fun soul that makes the band danceable and fun. Beat Club concluded its set with the song “Something Better,” an appropriate end to an average performance. Something much better is exactly what came next.
Capital Cities took the stage, immediately boosting crowd morale and mesmerizing the Rave with a massive sunglass-shaped backdrop, customized Capital Cities varsity jackets, and electronic beats. Led by vocalist/guitar player Ryan Merchant and vocalist/keyboardist Sebu Simonian, the band played just about every song off of its debut album, “In a Tidal Wave of Mystery,” and added a surprise with an innovative cover of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.” The cover added danceable synth-beats and a purple trombone solo played by the band’s talented trumpet player, Spencer Ludwig into the disco anthem.
Ludwig proved to be one of the band’s most vital and theatrical assets as he jumped around the stage playing his trumpet and showcasing Capital Cities’ older, sexier sound. Ludwig’s talents were showcased throughout the show, but were most noticeable in the entrancing “Kangaroo Court” and “Love Away.”
Thick-bearded Simonian controlled Capital Cities’ rave-style and sound with his double-decker keyboard and laptop, as seen in “Farrah Fawcett Hair,” a song he said was about about “the best shit life has to offer.” Interspersed with stylized sound bytes, the song lists Nutella, democracy, “Back to the Future 2” and seeing a double rainbow as some of the best things in life, sending the floor into a disco-dancing frenzy.
The funk continued as Merchant and Simonian attempted to teach the audience a jazzercise routine they called the “Capital Cities Shuffle.” The simple side step, clap and spin quickly proved to be too much for the intoxicated Rave audience and the whole thing quickly fell apart. But the sight of boozy Rave members willingly joining an organized group dance was well worth the $35 ticket alone.
As Capital Cities finished off its set with a performance of “Safe and Sound,” Michael Fitzpatrick (Fitz) and band mate Noelle Scaggs jumped on stage to join a dance party that nearly brought the house down with nearly everyone in the venue waving shirts, scarves and jackets over their heads as they jumped and danced to the band’s summer hit.
Fitz & The Tantrums began their performance shortly after. The signature retro-soul pop sound heard on “More Than Just a Dream” immediately came to life as Fitz, Noelle and the rest of the group took the stage in all their funk dancing, tambourine-playing glory.
Fitz & The Tantrums matched Capital Cities’ high-energy performance with their own crowd pleasing chart toppers like “Out of My League” and “MoneyGrabber.”
The band also showcased its talented saxophone player throughout the set. Not to be upstaged, Ludwig jumped back on stage with his trumpet during a Fitz’s cover of ’80s Eurythmics hit “Sweet Dreams,” and began a brass battle of epic proportions.
The undeniable spirit and chemistry between lead singers Fitz and Noelle also kept up the energy of the crowd and played up the tension and intrigue of heartbreakers like “Breakin’ the Chains of Love,” a song Fitz theatrically described as being about the worst possible thing happening to you on the best day of your life. It was one of the band’s first big hits, and combined with “Spark” and “Don’t Gotta Work it out,” made the perfect end to an energetic dance party.
As Fitz & The Tantrums played their encore song, “The Walker,” silly string-slinging members of Capital Cities and Beat Club stormed the stage clad in onsies, taco costumes and freakishly large sombreros. Pink confetti began to fall from the ceiling and the Rave burst into full-fledged mayhem.
When the concert concluded and the two talented upcoming bands left the stage, it was clear that “Bright Futures” proved to be a tour true to its title.