This weekend not only signifies another football game in Lane Stadium but also the welcoming of Anderson .Paak and Fitz and The Tantrums to Virginia Tech. This gig is open to the public at no cost. On the Drillfield-turned-concert venue, these two artists and DJ Earworm are set to perform at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 11.
Beyond “HandClap” and its relatively newfound reputation throughout sports arenas as the song to get audiences “revved up,” Fitz and the Tantrums were somewhat of a musical blindspot of mine. If you’re like I was, you might not know what this production has in store. For those of you, here’s what you might be able to expect this Friday night.
Anderson .Paak, rapper, singer-songwriter and producer, headlines this year’s fall concert. Released earlier this year, his latest album, “Ventura,” employs a wide range of sounds from soulful ballads like “Come Home” to groovy beats in “Reachin’ 2 Much.” Songs like "Make It Better” present Anderson’s strong lyricism through perfected vocals and harmonization. Anderson’s “Ventura” sounds somewhat reminiscent of a unique mixture of Kendrick Lamar and John Legend –– more specifically his earlier content circa 2005 “Get Lifted.”
Known for hip-hop, soul and R&B, Anderson began his career in 2009 and released his debut album, “Venice,” in 2014. In addition to his solo work, Anderson performs frequently with the Free Nationals who will accompany him on stage this weekend.
Dropping an album all the more recently is the indie-pop band, Fitz and The Tantrums. Since their debut EP, “Songs for a Breakup: Volume 1,” in 2009, Fitz and The Tantrums have played their party-anthems in venues all over the world. Their most recent album, “All the Feels,” like its predecessor, sounds distinct from the group’s earlier work in the albums’ inherent electronic nature.
Contrary to the quintessential indie or alternative rock world, the guitar is underutilized by Fitz and The Tantrums as heard (or not heard) in tunes such as “123456” or “Fool,” this trend being all the more prevalent in the band’s recent music. Known for songs like “Out of My League” and “HandClap,” their uplifting beats feel as if they were meant to be played outdoors in the heat of the summer; I suppose mid-October will have to do.
In addition to both Anderson .Paak and Fitz and The Tantrums performing, DJ Earworm, a mashup producer, will also be in attendance. The combination of these three artists seamlessly encapsulate some of today’s most popular genres: hip-hop, rock and EDM. From the soothing melodies of Anderson .Paak to the infectious rhythm of Fitz and The Tantrums, this concert plays to nearly every musical audience. If you happen to fall into the small category of students who don’t find a piece of joy in any of the performers, it’s free; a concert is still a concert. Anderson .Paak, Fitz and the Tantrums and DJ Earworm represent quite an unusual conglomeration of artists, yet it works — or so we’ll see this Friday.