When Fitz and the Tantrums are slotted to ring out the dog days of summer, things are bound to get complicated.
This year’s largely teen-geared Twilight Festival lineup included everyone from Diplo, to Grimes, to Pusha T. Compared to last year, the range of genres was certainly more expansive this time around, but the festival closers and their openers refreshingly brought a old-school flavor that brought all ages out.
Granted, the turnout was skimpier than usual, likely as it was the same day as the opening of Comic Con and a Utes football game. The night started early with Provo act The National Parks. Trombone Shorty were a raunchy good time, and much of the crowd seemed to be huge fans of the New Orleans’ crew. When the beginning grungy chords of Green Day’s “Brain Stew” rang out, some (including myself) were unsure if they were really going to pull off a jazz cover of the punk hit, but pull it off they did. And damn if they didn’t drop that guitar solo like it was hot.
Watching audience members dance during energetic shows is a pastime of mine, and something about outdoor festivals (see: drugs) makes the fare particularly satisfying (see: amusing). Some seemed to key in on Shorty’s ska elements and flailed their limbs accordingly; a gaggle of girls jogged in place in front of me; a group of dudes high-fived each other back and forth; most perplexingly, one guy had about 5 feet of empty space around him for the literal duration of the show as he popped, locked, and dampened the entirety of his shirt in sweat.
Shorty’s set got anti-climactic near the end with a series of lengthy instrumental-only songs, and as is typical of Twilight shows, the setup between sets took a while. But it wasn’t too bad this time around, because the dancy, sweaty man kept things entertaining.
Fitz and the Tantrums brought us a high-octane set, as expected. The hits were served; e.g. “Out of My League” and “The Walker,” but they mostly played songs from the new self-titled album. Although I’ve been following these guys since album 1, no single of theirs (save for perhaps “MoneyGrabber”) has been as earworm-inducing as “Complicated.” If keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna was right, it was also the song that got everyone going haywire in the crowd.
But they were about 4 songs in and still haven’t played it. Shortly after deciding to get a beer and just chill in the back of the park if the next one wasn’t it, it happens. Michael Fitzpatrick tells us we’ve all had this kind of relationship; “the kind that you know is not good for you but you keep coming back anyway. And when you see that text from them, you can’t help but answer.” (The band’s namesake was born in France and is from L.A. but spoke in an anomalously Southern accent – for affect?) It was a kickass performance, my night was complete, and off I went to lounge.
For more photos of the show, go here.