Show Review: Fitz and The Tantrums at The Handlebar

Photos by Daniel McCord

Fitz and the Tantrums–Greenville, SC

“Is it a Wednesday night? Well this is the place to be, because this is where the dance party will begin,” declared Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz and the Tantrums at their Handlebar show last night in Greenville. He was right, if you were anywhere else; you missed out on one hell of a danceable good time.

As the crowd gathered before the show, it was unclear how the night was going to go. There were all types at the Handlebar last night including a group of very hot soccer moms and a ponytailed Ghostland Observatory enthusiast. Once the show began, one thing was clear, no matter what stereotype you fell into, you were dancing. Will McCameron of Brewery 85 Greenville said, “You know a lot of different types of people grew listening to Motown. To me, this is the next logical step.”

The band opened with the second single off their Picking Up the Pieces album, “Don’t Gotta Work it Out”. Within seconds the crowd was engaged in a full-fledged sing-a-long. As they went on into their single, “Winds of Change” the crowd were mere puppets in the hands of Fitzpatrick and his counterpart Noelle Scaggs.

The one man horn section that is James King really blew my mind with a power flute solo in “Picking up the Pieces”. I mean really, who can make a flute solo look cool? Fitz and the Tantrums can. I also logged about six awesome sax solos. With “Breaking the Chains of Love” we got to hear one of those many sax solos and witness King switching back and forth between alto and baritone sax. The only way he could’ve been better would be if he were twins.

The band is currently working on their sophomore effort and played three songs from the forthcoming album. The first of which was “The End”. I was amazed that the crowd not only was feeling new material, but that this actually almost brought the house down. They also shared the new tune “6AM”, which again, was a barnburner. This song featured great harmonies from Fitzpatrick and Scaggs and they teased us with their on-stage will-they/won’t-they interactions. The third new song they previewed was a tracked entitled “Out of My League” which is high energy and had the lovely Miss Scaggs shaking that tambourine like a mad woman.

One of the highlights of the show for me was their rendition of The Raconteurs’ “Steady as She Goes”. The crowd truly went nuts when this song hit full stride. Fists were pumping in the air and everyone was screaming at the top of their lungs. The other high point was when the band played their hit “MoneyGrabber” to close the show. They stopped the song right before the last chorus and had the crowd get down on the floor before they would continue. At last, our generation has found its “Shout”, and once that final chorus kicked in, everyone jumped up and lost their minds. Animal House would have been proud. To be such a great bunch of performers, this band seems to have no ego. They constantly thanked the crowd for their support and even signed autographs and took pictures afterwards. Fitz and the Tantrums can throw one hell of a party and still prove to be total class acts.

Set List:

Don’t Gotta Work it Out

Winds of Change

Pickin’ Up the Pieces

Wake Up

Breakin’ the Chains of Love

Rich Girls

The End

Steady As She Goes (Raconteurs Cover)

Tighter

6AM

L.O.V.

Out of My League

Dear Mr. President

News 4 U

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Encore:

We Don’t Need Love Songs

Sweet Dreams (Eurythmics Cover)

MoneyGrabber

Photos by Daniel McCord