By Cristina Vitello
Sunday night 11/17/13 was a parade of indie-pop music that challenged even the most reserved fan to tap their toes. Featuring soulful and funk-infused styles compliments of Capital Cities and Fitz & The Tantrums, fans were treated to three hours of pure dance-party fun under the historic architecture of The Fillmore Detroit.
However, before the real show began, Beat Club took the stage for a less than stellar seven song set. While they had fun, the crowd ultimately did not. Lacking the funky soul that would prove to be a theme of the evening, Beat Club had an average performance reminiscent of a high school talent show: unfortunate to watch, not quick enough to end, and funny but forgettable.
Capital Cities quickly transformed The Fillmore, bringing their smooth style center stage with a massive set of sunglasses, black and white throwback jackets, and an eclectic mixtape that covered nearly every song off their 2012 album, “In A Tidal Wave of Mystery.” Duel frontmen Sebu Simonian and Ryan Merchant may have only known each other for half a decade, but their collaborations on stage made their synth-beat rendition of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” seem like a jam session between lifelong friends. Bringing in a whole other vibe of funk, brass player, Spencer Ludwig, welded a purple trombone making this disco-age anthem a modern day hit and introducing him as a highlight in Capital Cities stage presence.
Keeping the disco fever alive, Simonian offered up ‘the best shit life has to offer’ during the song ‘Farrah Fawcett Hair’. Listing Nutella, democracy, double rainbows, and “Back to the Future 2” as some of the best things in life, not long before Simonian and Merchant attempted to choreograph the audience into a group dance called the “Capital Cities Shuffle.”
As Capital Cities finished off its set, shirts, scarves, and jackets flung into the air and spun around heads as fans jumped and danced to the summer hit “Safe and Sound”, nearly bringing down the house in a giant dance party of unadulterated abandon.
Fitz & The Tantrums kept the vibe alive, matching Capital Cities high-energy performance. There was an undeniable chemistry between lead singers Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs, playing between a medley of tension and friendly musical banter. Scaggs tamborine-playing glory of epic proportions was worth the price of admission alone. It was clear to see that she and Fitz truly love what they do and the passion they both share for their music was easily seen in their tango.
Fitz & The Tantrums and Capital Cities are a match made in tour music heaven. With unique sounds and an intense stage presence, the two talented upcoming bands proved that “Bright Futures” are really in their sights.