Dance Without End: Fitz and the Tantrums at the Oregon Zoo

Vortex Music Magazine

In support of their new record, Fitz and the Tantrums brought their party to the Oregon Zoo Amphitheatre for a wild night of nonstop dance. Photos by Sydnie Kobza

Fitz and the Tantrums at the Oregon Zoo on August 19—click to see more photos by Sydnie KobzaFitz and the Tantrums at the Oregon Zoo on August 19—click to see more photos by Sydnie KobzaIn our conversation with Z Berg of Phases, the opening band for the night, it was predicted that the Fitz and the Tantrums show would be nothing less than an all-night dance party.

“It’ll be balls to the wall all evening,” Berg said.

Her prophecy came to fruition as the crowd gathered on the Oregon Zoo’s newly revamped amphitheater lawn, setting up chairs in what little shade they could find and clustering around the venue’s small misting stations like moths to a flame. Despite the heat, the surrounding trees of the zoo’s environment provided a comfortable atmosphere, and the crowd and bands used this to their advantage, going all in with every bit of energy they could summon.

Z Berg of Phases at the Oregon Zoo on August 19: Photo by Sydnie Kobza—click to read a conversation with her and catch the band opening for Maroon 5 in October at the Moda CenterZ Berg of Phases at the Oregon Zoo on August 19: Photo by Sydnie Kobza—click to read a conversation with her and catch the band opening for Maroon 5 in October at the Moda CenterPhases took the stage first and delivered on their promise of a dynamic performance. Lead singer Z Berg proved her skills as a live performer, showcasing her powerful vocals while constantly moving and keeping the crowd engaged.

Though all of the members of Phases have previously been a part of other bands, playing indie rock together or separate, it was hard to tell that the band hadn’t been mastering synthpop for years. With a confidence unmatchable by many opening bands, their upbeat vibes sat well with the diehard Fitz fans in the pit.

Closing with their track “Cooler” (listen below) off their debut release, Z Berg captivated the audience, climbing the stage's scaffolding without even missing a beat. It was a memorable set, and one that put the night’s headliner in a difficult spot to try and top it.

But as the sun began to set, Fitz and the Tantrums unveiled their production and took the stage with an unparalleled intensity.

With massive rectangular lighting rigs serving as their backdrop, Fitz opened with “Get Right Back,” an exceptional track on their latest, self-titled effort. The energy was immediate, pouring out from the stage and into the entirety of the amphitheater crowd.

Fitz and the Tantrums at the Oregon Zoo on August 19—click to see more photos by Sydnie KobzaFitz and the Tantrums at the Oregon Zoo on August 19—click to see more photos by Sydnie Kobza“I don’t want to see anybody sitting down,” Fitz said. “I want to see everybody getting down with us.”

As the night grew darker, the lights grew brighter, pulsating with every beat the band put down. Powering through tracks spanning all three of their records, the band showcased their skill at orchestrating a massive dance party without ever letting the energy level drop.

From the front row of the pit to the back of the lawn, everybody was on their feet, dancing, swaying and singing along to new songs as well as old favorites for the fans who have followed the band since the beginning.

Closing the main set with radio favorite “HandClap”—check out the video below—there was no dip in spirit from anyone in attendance. On the last song, Fitz and the Tantrums pumped just as much life into the crowd as they did with their first.

As the band thanked the fans and left the stage, it was obvious that Z Berg’s prediction was spot on. With the energy of the opener and Fitz as the life of the party, it was an all-night extravaganza of lights, dancing and music.

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