The Electric Factory lit up beyond Ben Franklin’s wildest dreams Nov. 7 as Fitz and the Tantrums brought their high-energy, crowd-pleasing show to Philadelphia. The energy on stage was tangible from the very first downbeat played by the opening act, Big Data, and the mood only intensified as the show went on. The sold-out, standing-room-only concert was filled with people of all ages, with a large amount of young and middle-aged adults.
To announce their onstage arrival, Fitz and the Tantrums’ iconic digitized heart logo lit up line by line as a deep bass note throbbed through the audience. As the crowd applauded with excitement, the electronic white bracelets that were given at the door activated, making the entire room explode with flashing lights. As the band started playing, it immediately became clear that the band had a special chemistry with each other and with their fans. Lead singers Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs exemplified everything that has ever been meant by the phrase “dynamic duo.” Not only were they musically in sync with perfect harmonies and astounding vocal power, but they also played off one another with a contagious energy.
Fitz and the Tantrums’ dynamic style was shown not only in their energy, but also through their music with their eclectic choices of instrumentation. Throughout the night, we heard keyboards, bass guitar, tambourine, drums, saxophone and flute. The band took woodwinds out of the traditional concert hall setting and gracefully gave them a place to shine in a popular music setting, giving a distinct feel to their sound.
Fitz and Noelle introduced upcoming songs by using detailed storytelling and by letting the crowd be part of the whole experience. Over halfway through the set, Noelle said that she wanted to “slow things down.” After calling for everyone to take out their lighters and cellphone flashlights, she told everyone that the next song, “Last Raindrop,” was one of her favorite songs on their newest record, “More Than Just a Dream,” but would be a different version than was featured on the album. With dimmed stage lights turning the performers into mere silhouettes, Fitz and Noelle led the crowd into a collective sway.
This calming mood, which was readily accepted by the audience, quickly changed back into the previous atmosphere of excitement as Fitz announced that the next song was meant for dancing. Fitz and Noelle’s onstage dancing set a precedent for the crowd, who soon started dancing along with enthusiasm as the band finished their final song. Immediately after they exited the stage, the crowd called for an encore, causing Fitz to come back out and address the audience. “Make some noise to wake the dead!” Fitz said. “Show the West Coast!” With cheers that were deemed acceptable, the entire band returned onstage for an encore. The last song, “The Walker,” ended with an explosion of pink and silver confetti.
Throughout the night, Fitz and the Tantrums played a variety of different songs. They did not limit themselves to their most popular songs, like “Out of My League” and “The Walker,” but also played some lesser-known songs off their new album. They left Philadelphia on a good note, leaving concertgoers with a positive feeling.