fitz & the tantrums @ haw river ballroom

fitz & the tantrums @ haw river ballroom

fitz & the tantrums @ haw river ballroom

I have been to two shows lately that have surprised me; I am sometimes a little snotty about the fact that Triangle concert crowds can be a bit … stodgy. Appreciative, sure. But non-reactive, often. And I don’t what’s been different at these two shows: call it a change in audience demographic, call it drunkenness, call it a newfound spring enthusiasm. What I’d really call it, though, is the masterful work of both Frightened Rabbit last Monday and Fitz & the Tantrums last night, in being so engaging, so compelling, that the audience can’t help but sing and dance and wave their arms in the air.

fitz & the tantrums @ haw river ballroom

Fitz & the Tantrums were absolutely mind-blowing at Haw River Ballroom last night. That retro blue-eyed neo soul that they do, they do it perfectly, and originally, and with such catch to their choruses that you can’t help but shake your ass. Their debut record was great, and last night’s show demonstrated clearly to me that they’ve grown up quite a bit since even then, and their follow-up LP, due out in May, is going to be even better. It was a great space, an engaged crowd, and a hell of a band on stage. I hadn’t seen them in a few years, and it was worth the wait — I love watching bands sharpen themselves to the perfect stage show backed by excellent music.

hunter hunter @ haw river ballroom

Openers Hunter Hunted were great — that sort of sunny California electro-pop that POP ETC (nee the Morning Benders) make; great drumming, charismatic front man, interesting and eclectic instrumentation. Really dug them, and can’t wait to check out their stuff.

Full set is here.

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