Music Reviews — 17 April 2013
Fitz and The Tantrums at The Studio at Webster Hall: A Concert Review

Fitz And The Tantrums
The Studio at Webster Hall, Manhattan, NY
April 16, 2013

Concert Review: Fitz & The Tantrums at The Studio at Webster Hall

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The cozy confines of The Studio at Webster Hall was absolutely pulse pounding on Tuesday night as the diminutive venue would play host to one of Los Angeles’ fastest growing bands. The increasingly popular Fitz and The Tantrums made a preliminary stop in New York City (the band has already sold out their next local show at the much larger Irving Plaza on June 30th), paying it forward to their growing legion of fans by performing in such an intimate setting. Although the space may not have been huge, the band’s super-sized setlist and commensurate energy level certainly was.

The evening kicked off with a fun set by support act Hunter Hunted, which featured a supremely loaded line up, with an everything but the kitchen sink approach to instrumentation. The group’s spot on cover of The Pixies’ “Where is My Mind” highlighted their shortened yet still satisfying set. After breaking down the gear from the support band, anticipation for our headliners grew feverish. And at 10:15pm the beyond capacity crowd could be heard chanting in unison “We want Fitz!”

As the mantra grew louder, the musicians themselves seemed to take notice and moments later the California band was led out to center stage by dual singers Michael Fitzpatrick and the lovely Noelle Scaggs. The two collectively jumped onto the stage and kicked off a set that would cause everyone in the house to dance in place, albeit shoulder to shoulder. Fitzpatrick and Scaggs could be seen shaking tambourines and booties during opening tracks “Keepin Our Eyes Out” and “Don’t Gotta Work it Out.” The band’s genuine passion for playing live was plastered on their faces as they belted out lyrics that the audience sang back sometimes even louder than the artists themselves.

After the first few indie/soul gems, the band took a quick yet beautiful moment to thank everyone in attendance for joining them for this landmark show. Aside from the close-knit nature of the show, it was also a perfect opportunity for the band to try out some new material. Songs like “Spark” almost forced yours truly to even bust out some solo disco moves, imagining being at Studio 54 in the late ’70s. It’s no surprise that Fitz and The Tantrums have been enlisted as the support act for megastar Bruno Mars in the not too distant future as the band seems more than ready for the arena circuit.

Fitz himself acted as ringmaster of the soul circus leading us through brilliant and flawless renditions of “Break the Walls” and “Breakin’ the Chains of Love.” The latter of which was our hands-down favorite track of the night. After witnessing the band perform live for the first time, it’s easy to compare Fitz and The Tantrums to other disco-rock bands like the Scissor Sisters. And while that is a highly complimentary comparison, the band is a completely original outfit, and one whose musicianship and stage presence are a testament to their talents for performing live. Just when you think everything is cookie cutter here comes a band that brings a whole new mold for other groups to emulate.

- Jay Rubin

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