Tonight is a night for talented female musicians. It’s sad, but most bands are all male. There are some really talented female musicians in bands, Lynn Gunn, Hayley Williams and Tessa Thompson come to mind. However, most female musicians are solo artists, and bands are mostly a male dominated art. Both Dresses and Fitz and the Tantrums have kickass female vocalists.
Dresses is a local duo comprised of Timothy Heller (yes, girls can be named Timothy) and Jared Ryan Maldonado. The best way I can describe Heller’s voice is Kate Nash meets Lana Del Rey singing in her head voice. During their third song, “Tell A Lie,” Maldonado sings lead vocals. This gives Heller the chance to sing ethereal harmonies.
This higher pitched style gives a light a playful feel to Dresses’ music although this doesn’t show in their body language. Both Heller and Maldonado seem tentative to dance around, making the whole audience stand still as well. This does take away a bit from their incredible musical talent This could be because they haven’t played a show since July. They are happy to be here, “We had the privilege of playing here last year with Phoenix and I have to say this crowd is a lot more…exciting,” Maldonado says.
The crowd gets even more excited when Fitz and the Tantrums take the stage. If you go to a Fitz and the Tantrums show expecting to sway a bit, you probably shouldn’t go to one. The show is very high energy and Noelle Scaggs and Michael Fitzpatrick will not let the audience stand still. The second they hit the stage, Scaggs encourages us to clap leading into “Get Away.” This happens throughout the entire set. Each song has one or two moves with it. We’re punching the air for “Break The Walls,” following along to dance steps during “Breakin’ The Chains Of Love,” and making circles in the air during “MerryGoRound.”
Scaggs and Fitzpatrick dance across the stage like professionals. They almost create the tension of a tango during “House on Fire.” Throughout the set they keep reminding us to move, saying, “ Alright Portland, we’ve got to see if you have some dancing skills,” and “Well by now you know we don’t let you stand still.” But throughout all of this, the best part of the show is the amazing talent of James King.
I don’t think there is an instrument he can’t play. Though he never played guitar or bass during the show, he killed it with saxophone and flute solos. There are several songs on their newest album, More Than Just A Dream that have a synthetic flute sound. Well, there is nothing synthetic about it. King stands there and plays the flute no amp, no reverb, just him. It’s remarkable.
You can purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here for Fitz and the Tantrums.
You can purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here for Dresses.
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