Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fitz & the Tantrums - Spirit Animal -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Sep 20 2010

Spirit Animal - We have a four-piece to start things off. The drummer has a Ramones shirt and they line-up as a Ramones four-piece sans leather jackets. Oh, the bass player does have leather but hardly reminds one of Dee-Dee. But he kicks into some rolling bass runs as the drummer pounds away with the guitarist adding some interesting tonal moves and spacey chording. The vocalist belts out good pop-rock melody lines on top of the building foundation. A bit too ambitious to expect a sing-along for the opening number, but a good tune nonetheless. There's some funk built in and for some reason, they remind me of Radio 4, but I am guessing that would fail a listening comparison test. The third song was a masterful psyche-rock fuzzy pounding song that really had my jaw dropping a bit. They had a sax player pop up a couple of times including one Funhouse-like freakout. The vocalist reminded me of something between Matt Bellamy (Muse) and Dave Vanian (Damned), which means a bit over the top while being the melodic torchbearer. This was a good set and for a couple songs, they could have been the best band in the world. (Unfortunately I have no idea if I am linking the right band above thanks to multiple choices)

Fitz & the Tantrums - I am seeing way too many people in suits hit the stage (I retired early to get away from this) as they take up places with drums, bass, keyboards, sax/flute and vocals. A female vocalist comes out more smartly dressed for the evening. They start cooking up a storm instantly. I would say the two vocalists are co-lead vocalists. Although the guy with the Bryan Ferry haircut may sing more lead, the female singer has enough voice and energy to lead over just about anybody not named Joplin (well, maybe Scott). Actually these two look like two attorneys I had lunch with the other week (haircut in her case, facial resemblance in his). Now this is dance music. No pounding electronica beats boring into your skull like some psychotic Japanes anime designed to screw with your system. This is hi-octane propulsive rhythm and rock done with style and heart. Both vocalists shine throughout and the crowd of 75-100 fans are dancing far more than at most DC shows. A cover of the Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams" works for me. They actually got the entire crowd to crouch down near the floor and spring up together. Great set by a fun, fun band.

And thus kicks off my eight different musical genres in eight nights. Tune in daily to collect them all.

Quote of the Night: This is an actual mass email I got from someone promoting their t-shirt sales for charity...  "I just wanted to remind you that all this week (today through Saturday, September 25th)  when you purchase the special edition Cal Tort tshirt below for only $5*, we'll give you a FREE taco coupon that's good on your next visit. 

And not only will you be hailed for your fine fashion sense, but for your generosity as well--all of the profits from your tshirt purchase will go to Share Our Strength, a fabulous organization that's dedicated to ending childhood by 2015."

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