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Fitz And The Tantrums give intense energy & crowd engagement to SF

Fitz-and-TantrumsPhotos by Marc Fong // Written by Nikki de Martini {Sweet Sound Bites}

People were still filing into the Fitz and The Tantrums show at The Warfield Sunday night as leading man Michael Fitzpatrick and leading lady Noelle Scaggs followed the rest of the band on stage. Under the glow of the same neon heart that graces the group’s new album, More Than Just a Dream, the show started with the brand new track “Keepin’ Our Eyes Out”. They carried an essence of unplanned-glam with a touch of platinum in their outfits. But Scaggs’ look triumphed, and how could it not with the cover-art heart embroidered on the back of her leather jacket!

The female firecracker vocalist burst out “San Francisco! How you feelin’ tonight?! You came to party right?!” in the middle of “Don’t Gotta Work It Out”, jolting a roaring response from fans. After that, all bets were off as Fitz himself tried spreading the band’s amped energy by vigorously starting an audience clap-along at the tail end of the song. And all this happened within the the second song! Their drive to fully engage the crowd and emerge everyone into their electrically emotional set was highly admirable.

Fitz-and-Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums built momentum with exuberant banter, fervid fist pumping with fans in the front row, some mean tambourine, and a sexually charged chemistry only exes can conjure up, and it all flowed naturally — though it did seem as if they were trying to prove themselves.

Covering the Eurythmics dark hit “Sweet Dreams” later on in the set made sense, seeing as Fitzpatrick’s voice definitely has a “Sweet Dreams” quality, if you will. Situated seamlessly into the overall sound and vibe of the night, Fitzpatrick and Scaggs shared the spotlight during the neo-indie version, yet they played it safe by not straying too far from the crowd-pleasing original.

James King broke out the saxophone for “Winds of Change” as Fitzpatrick’s deep Depeche Mode-esque voice blended effortlessly with Scaggs’ velvety falsetto, creating an underlying jazzy vibe.

Fitz-and-Tantrums

A good hour or so into the show, Fitzpatrick said, “You may have heard this next one, and that’s because San Francisco has been a huge supporter from the very beginning!” Sure enough, as the crowd roared in appreciation of his expressed appreciation, the cheers grew louder with the first notes of their summer smash single, “Out of My League”.

For me and every other 20-30 something present, the coolest part of the song’s introduction was how Fitzpatrick whispered Popscene into the microphone right before he began singing.

Fitz and The Tantrums played at Popscene (SF’s premiere Indie-Night Club) in 2010 when they were still finding their place in the music world, and the respect paid to the City and it’s fans who helped them get to the status the band has attained was super cool in my book.

Fitz and The Tantrums curated a setlist that balanced old and new all night — they sandwiched the funky eclectic new song, “The Walker” into two older tracks “Moneygrabber” and “News 4 You” to end the night. They raised their own bar pretty high with intense energy and a signature retro performance full of gusto from the get-go at The Warfield.

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