Fitz & The Tantrums stir up fun at House of Blues

A review of Fitz & The Tantrums at the House of Blues on November 11, 2011

, Managing Editor

L.A. indie group Fitz & The Tantrums haven’t been on the scene very long, and they’re certainly not a household name at this point in their young career, but they had no problem selling out the House of Blues at a time when even iconic artists are having trouble selling tickets. This may come as a surprise until one sees them live and realizes that their chic blend of rock and soul, with a sound polished way beyond its years, creates a desirable atmosphere for a club show. They had fans dancing along with them on Lansdowne St. this Veteran’s Day.

Fitz & The Tantrums’ performance is driven by the energy of the man himself, Michael Fitzpatrick, and his counterpart Noelle Scaggs. Ms. Scaggs brings the hype, calling out to the crowd before almost every big chorus, while Fitzpatrick delivers the flare, bounding across the stage on more sped up numbers like “L.O.V.” and “MoneyGrabber”, their big radio hit.

The band is touring behind their debut release, Pickin’ Up the Pieces. Like many new artists who find the good fortune to be headlining shows after their debut, Fitz and co. pieced their setlist together with every track from their first album, along with a couple newbies and some choice covers. The title track is a perfect example of what this group is all about. Fitzpatrick and Scaggs traded verses on the 70s throwback, complete with some great Jazz flute bits from multi-instrumentalist James King, as the light from the HOB disco ball filled the room. The song was a mix of old and new, attitude and playfulness that defines this group.

The Tantrums put their special touch on the Raconteurs’ “Steady As She Goes”, replacing the garage rock guitar with keyboards and saxophone for an extended take. They would thrill with another excellent cover choice in the encore, doing The Eurhythmics “Sweet Dreams” with plenty of crowd participation. “MoneyGrabber” proved to be worth the wait as the band ended their show in grand fashion, spawning some wild dancing on the floor and then inviting the maniacs to say hi after the show as they stuck around to sign autographs and take pictures.

Fitzpatrick was well aware that guys named Fitz are a dime a dozen around these parts, saying early on in the show, “I guess being named Fitz in Boston is not very original”, but with performances like their show in Boston, this is a group that’s sure to stand out wherever they go.

Setlist
Don’t Gotta Work It Out
Winds of Change
Breakin’ the Chains of Love
Wake Up
Pickin’ Up the Pieces
Rich Girls
6 A.M.
Tighter
L.O.V.
Lovesick Man
Steady As She Goes
Dear Mr. President
News 4 U
Encore
We Don’t Need Love Songs
Sweet Dreams
MoneyGrabber

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