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    When watching any great show, it’s almost impossible to differentiate between who is having more fun:  the audience or the artist; performers feed off the energy of the crowd, but the energy of the crowd is determined by what the artist is doing on stage.  It’s a classic chicken or egg argument that was no closer to resolution last night from Fitz & the Tantrums.

    The band returned to Louisville on Mercury Ballroom’s stage last night, and from the opening chords of “Get Away” – it was already clear what kind of show this was going to be – high energy, bombastic, and all around fun.  The band was in fine form with vocalists Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs leading the charge into the night.  Their voices are spectacular individual weapons, but when the two merge, they wrap around each other and make this transcendent sound that immediately elevates a crowd.  It is those moments that have, rightfully, made Fitz and the Tantrums the torch bearers of Pop n’ Soul.

    The set was filled out with a pretty spectacular light show, for being in such a small venue, as well as tracks from both of the band’s albums.  The audience followed Fitz and his Tantrums right down the rabbit hole and through beloved songs like:  “Break the Walls”, “Fool’s Gold”, “Tell Me What You’re Here For”, “L.O.V.”, “Moneygrabber”, and “The Walker”.

    But the defining moment of the show happened somewhere toward the middle of the set.  When the band covered The Eurhythmics’ classic “Sweet Dreams (are made of this)” and followed it with their own infectious “Out of My League”.  Standing there, absorbing the music, I recognized the tangible whisp of new wave thread running through the band’s neo-soul, and when the room lifted on the chorus:  “’Cause you are more than just a dream”.  I know for one, was hoping that this dream would never end.

    Photos/Glenn Hirsch

    Brent Owen's picture

    About Brent Owen

    Born and raised in Louisville, I have lived here most of my life (except during a short furlough, when I, lovelorn and naive, followed a girl to Baton Rouge). My roots are here, my family, my friends, and my life are all here. I work primarily as a free-lance writer for a few local and regional publications. I have also written two books (one a memoir, the other a novel) that barring some divine intervention, will probably never see the light of day. I find myself deeply ingrained in the local bar scene, or perhaps better said, I often indulge in the local drinking culture. I love music, movies, comedy, and really just about any other live performance art.

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