We’re going in a different direction this week with a blog post on the music scene. Fitz and the Tantrums threw a spectacular show at the Jefferson Theater last Friday in Charlottesville, VA. Young and old fans alike filled the floor and the upper level, singing along with leads Michael Fitzpatrick (“Fitz” as he was endearing called by the crowd) and Noelle Scaggs. Relatively unknown in the “mainstream” music scene until recently, the band has been gaining traction with an expanding fan base. It has opened for big events such as the Sweetlife Festival, Bruno Mars’ tour, and even appearances on Today and Ellen Degeneres.
The opening act was Sleeper Agent, a rock band from Kentucky. I wanted to like Sleeper Agent, as I’ve heard singles such as “Haunting Me” on alternative stations like WNRN (91.9 FM). Quite a number of people in the audience were enjoying themselves, so perhaps the sound settings were a bit off for me. I thought last year’s opening act, Hunter Hunter, was much better.
On this tour, the main prop for Fitz and the Tantrums is a large heart that changed colors with every song. The light patterns even mimicked flames as Fitz crooned out “House on Fire”. The heart comes from the cover of their latest album, “More Than Just a Dream”. They performed songs from that album, as well as their first one, “Pickin Up the Pieces”. If you’ve ever been to a Fitz and the Tantrums concert, you also know to expect a fantastic cover of the Eurythmics hit, “Sweet Dreams”. Another highlight of the evening was the solo by the saxophonist James King, who elicited cheering as he played a few notes from “Talk Dirty to Me”.
Dynamic stage lighting and a strobe light sequence were also incorporated, adding credence to the idea that elaborate and expensive stage setups are not necessary to make an incredible show. Rather, the strong soulful tunes and raw vocals carried the night (no auto tuners either) in songs like “Last Raindrop”, “Out of My League”, and “Moneygrabber”.
So about that strobe light dance sequence near the end… well, check out this photo to see what I mean:
Fitz and the Tantrums deserve the growing attention and popularity. When they play live, it’s clear that they love to perform and they invest a lot of energy into connecting with their audiences. Their concerts are like parties, topped off at the end by a huge burst of confetti. Let’s hope they bring the party back to Charlottesville next year.