Everyone at Canalside was happy to be in Buffalo on Thursday night, whether it was their first time, third time, or they call this city home.
The backdrop behind Fitz and the Tantrums, who happily told the crowd that this was their third time performing in Buffalo, was a heart that lit up with different colors and patterns as the songs changed. It was a heart that looked a lot like the popular emblem for “Buffalove,” and the band sure did show Buffalo a lot of love.
Canalside was packed with thousands of people all there to see Fitz and the Tantrums, and they did not disappoint. Throughout their set, which included all of their most popular songs from “Out of My League” to “The Walker,” they had the crowd dancing.
“This is where the dance party will begin,” Michael Fitzpatrick, lead vocals, screamed to the crowd. People of all ages took his orders seriously. An older man tapped his foot in his lawn chair, a toddler waved her arms back and forth on her mother’s shoulders, and everyone swayed their hips and jumped to the beat.
Perhaps the best and most energetic dancer of all was Noelle Scaggs, the female vocalist of the group. She hopped around stage all night, playing her tambourine and belting out beautiful notes. Scaggs and Fitzpatrick are like a dream team when it comes to vocals. Their voices are ultimately distinct but come together in harmony at exactly the right moments.
During the encore, Fitzpatrick thanked the crowd with a genuineness that was refreshing. He let them know that the band’s success was because of fans like them and asked everyone to help sing the last song. He proclaimed his love of this city and the people in it, and he was met with loud cheers and applause.
The openers also shared their love with Buffalo on Thursday night, setting the atmosphere with high energy before the main act. Max Frost, a singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas, played a lively, upbeat set before Fitz and the Tantrums. It was his first time performing in Buffalo, and he played Rick James’ “Give It to Me Baby” as an homage to the city.
The Albrights, a local pop-rock group, opened. They had a smaller crowd than the following acts, but they performed well for the many who came early just for them.
Near the end of their set, the band stopped between songs to take a picture with a smartphone. The sun was still strong but beginning to set. People were hugging friends hello and gearing up for a night of music. “This is the most perfect night of our summer,” Brandon Berry, who was on guitar and vocals, told his audience.
For all music-lovers in attendance, the whole event was pretty close to being the perfect summer night from start to finish.