The Bay Area welcomed the funk-soul band More Fatter back to San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall on Dec. 3 after a grand relocation to Los Angeles. After releasing its first EP, Fatterludes, in November, More Fatter was more than ready to share its growth with this hometown crowd.
Starting the show with the same song that starts the band’s newest record, “The Owl” set a fast tempo for the rest of the show to follow. Racing basslines and choral harmonies sent listeners back to “Soul Train,” as the bright outfits of each member reflected the beaming stage lights.
The pace calmed only a smidgen with “Silly Goose,” a song that the band members said highlights all the silly parts of a relationship after the honeymoon phase. Filled with synchronized dancing and comedic drama, the performance held all the frustration of the lyrics — whether dealing with bad apples or annoying navigation, the emotion was conveyed in a fun, retrospective manner.
Throwing in a lively cover to make sure the crowd was warmed up, the band members pulled out “Juice” by Lizzo to bring a modern twist to their vintage set. The energy of the song fit the band’s flashy LA aesthetic like a glove, even though the Bay Area roots still showed through the cohesive energy More Fatter displayed organically onstage.
To honor their heritage and loved ones in the audience, brothers Márk and Théophile Fédronic led a special song in Hungarian. There was a slow pickup for the tune, which might have held a better place in the setlist if the build broke sooner, but it still led beautifully into an equally earnest performance of “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?”
One of the best performances of the night was “Waking Up on a Sunday,” which singer and instrumentalist Márk Fédronic said was inspired by the tragic chaos of the Tubbs fire in 2017. Natural disasters of this sort seem to have become almost normalized in California, and Fédronic encouraged the audience to “do whatever you can to be proactive and take a stand” against climate change.
The band invited several musician friends onstage throughout the night, such as Chris Burns from the California Honeydrops, for spotlight solos between choruses. In a frenzy of brass, cowbell and explosive drums, the members of More Fatter shared their prowess with audience and musicians alike — in all, they made sure everyone in the room was having a good time.
Going back to a classic cover, “Ultralight Beam” by Kanye West was slowed down to fit the group’s musical style, an old-school twist fusing with the modern hip-hop melody. In the middle of the performance, the Fédronic brothers stepped down into the crowd with their guest saxophone player, parting the crowd like an ocean as they played between the throngs for an epic instrumental moment.
For More Fatter’s encore, a lively performance of “Livin’ in a Museum” struck audiences down with pure funk. To officially end the show, both opening artists joined More Fatter onstage for an oh-so spontaneous jam session. As the chaos calmed and bows were taken, a last hurrah of “Let’s get drunk!” was yelled from the stage. It’s clear the band members love what they do onstage, and as More Fatter’s tagline says, “Lovin’ is livin’.”
Skylar De Paul is the deputy arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her at @skylardepaul.