Fitz and The Tantrums at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco

Alright, this is going to be a short one.  I’ve honked plenty about the greatness that is Fitz and The Tantrums during the short life of The Meeting.  But I just caught them live two nights ago in San Francisco and am compelled to push them once more.  Wow.  This band needs to be seen and heard by the masses.  Radio seems to be mostly ignoring them, I assume because they’re brand of greatness doesn’t fit in with the usual mediocrity being lazily programmed by top-40.  Well, I am going to do my part to communicate their greatness to the tens of people who read this blog!

Getting back to the show for a minute – I’m still buzzing!  It’s been 48 hours and I keep replaying moments in my head.  The open floor of the Regency ballroom, accented with the horseshoe balcony, was a fantastic venue.  My buddy Jon and I caught the second of two sold-out nights (Thanks to my wife, Natalie, for getting the tix!  And Jon thanks you for hurting your back and not being able to go).  The band, comprised of drums, keys, bass, sax/flute, and two vocalists, were so tight and talented.  These songs jumped off the stage and all over my face.  I’ve been listening to (and loving) their debut album for a year now, but if felt like I was hearing these songs for the first time.  So good.  In addition to playing every song from Pickin’ Up the Pieces, the band played some new songs (6AM was GREAT!) and mixed in a couple of covers, including a make-it-our-own rendition of The Raconteurs’ “Steady As She Goes”.

The entire band is obviously comfortable with each other, but the chemistry between singers Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs is thrilling to watch.  Scaggs is so much more than just a back-up singer/tambourine banger/name of the city shouter.  Her presence on stage is critical to each song.  As great as the first album is, I hope we get to hear more of her up front on the next album.

And the band – Oh, the band.  So strong.  So face melting.  So worthy of our praise.  James King is a complete freak on various saxophones and flute.  He essentially filled the space where a guitarist would be for most bands and didn’t stop playing the whole night.  He is a stud with incredible lung capacity.  And he played a flute solo during “L.O.V.” that would make Ron Burgundy bow down in reverence.  And speaking of bowing down in reverence, just stop what you are doing right now and go purchase their album.  Do it now!  You think I’m joking, but I’m not.  I will wait.

Now that you’ve done that, I need to mention one more thing about Friday night’s show.    An opening act called Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.  This was a phenomenal opening act that completely won over the crowd.  And while I’ve never heard anybody pull off Whitney Houston’s  “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” with nearly that much effectiveness (including Whitney), their original material also stood strong.   Go to their album and check out “Simple Girls”, “Vocal Chords”, and a scorching cover of Gil Scott Heron’s “We Almost Lost Detroit”.  I was never a big fan of the latter song, but I am now!

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~ by themattmorrisshow on January 30, 2012.

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