Fitz & the Tantrums
ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Sept. 23, 2011
Fitz & the TantrumsZilker Park, Sept. 17
If there were such a prize, Fitz & the Tantrums might have won Band Happiest To Play ACL Fest. "It's because of you, Austin, that we got our record deal!" crowed co-singer Noelle Scaggs, paying back the crowd with such spirit that they might also deserve a Best of the Fest. The L.A. group lit the fuse on modern soul late Saturday, exploding with the career-making "Breakin' the Chains of Love" and firing nonstop crowd-shakers "MoneyGrabber" and the Raconteurs' "Steady As She Goes." If the sound is vintage, it's 1980s, not 1960s. The former decade punched up old soul the same way the Tantrums do: with steamy brass, uncompromising vocals, and a whip-smart dance beat à la "Rich Girls." In fact, for a ringer the quintet wheeled out the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" to a crowd that included actor Christian Bale. Retro schmetro: Fitz & the Tantrums flat-out rock.