Fitz And The Tantrums Live Review – Regency Ballroom January 2011
So maybe it wasn’t an excellent idea to plan the Fitz And The Tantrums concert the same day I returned from Las Vegas? Although this was probably my most mellow trip to Las Vegas (since I’ve been of legal age,) it was still Vegas! My friend Jeremy was part of the trip Vegas and also joined us at the FATT show.. (I hate the acronym FATT, but I hate typing out the entire band name more). We flew into Sacramento International, where my husband picked us up. After a brief pit stop at home, the three of us headed to San Francisco. I normally like to arrive at shows during the opening act. Allowing plenty of time to get a few drinks, check out the crowd, and scope a good place to watch the show.
Sadly, with the lack of sleep from Vegas joined with the 2 hour drive to San Francisco, I was exhausted by the time we arrived at the hotel in the Financial District. After checking in, getting showered & dressed, we only had one drink & it was time to go. It wasn’t too long of a walk from our hotel to The Regency Ballroom. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. was just finishing up their last set, which gave us only enough time to check our coats, get a cocktail and try to claim some space on the dance floor.
I had never been to the Regency Ballroom before and it is gorgeous. It has a humongous open dance floor with a balcony that runs around three sides facing the stage.
With drinks in hand, we made our way to pretty much the center of the crowd just as the lights dimmed. When the lights came back up, the stage was lit with purple and magenta, providing a great background for Fitz And The Tantrums who immediately busted into ‘Don’t Gotta Work it Out’. Instantly, the crowd began a slow groove and a sing-along with the sultry Noelle Scaggs. While Scaggs adds an unspeakable amount to the recorded songs, she is unparalleled live in concert!
Not only does Scaggs do an impeccable job with vocals, her energy level was consistently explosive through the entire show. Constantly shouting out to the crowds and banging away at her tambourine, Scaggs encouraged the crowd to sing and dance. Without her the show would have no soul. (Pretty important for a Soul act such as Fitz And The Tantrums, no?) The lead singer, Michael Fitzpatrick, was very interactive with the crowd as well. He expressed genuine appreciation to the crowd and his band mates through the entire show.
The pace continued to build momentum through their set with ‘Breakin’ The Chains Of Love’ and ‘Winds Of Change’ followed by a new song ‘Wake Up’ which you can see here:
At about the halfway point, FATT pulled down the energy for their even more soulful slow songs leading with ‘6AM’. ‘Tighter’ (an even slower song) followed. If you haven’t heard the song, it’s about the aftermath one feels after a failed relationship. A very beautiful break-up song that had all the couples in the house swaying. This was one of those moments I live for in a concert, where the energy of the crowd was electric. I really felt strongly connected to my husband as the song moved us. Just as the lyrics suggests, he held me tighter and tighter, which brought me tears. Needless to say, it was a very emotional moment for me.
Another new song, ‘Love Sick Man’ brought the tempo back up. Give it a listen:
The set continued with even more energy & precision. ‘L.O.V.’ got everyone’s body moving again. The Raconteurs cover ‘Steady As She Goes’ was followed by ‘Dear Mr. President’. FATT finished with ‘News 4 U’.
Of course there was an encore! It started off with their slow jam ‘We Don’t Need No Love Song’, followed by The Eurhythmics cover, ‘Sweet Dreams’.
‘Sweet Dreams’ was a decent performance that built the audience up well for their final, and most popular, song ‘MoneyGrabber’, (A song which was timely to me considering I had just come back from making a deposit into the bank that is Vegas!). It was also the first time I had experienced the crowd control “Get Low” created by one of my favorite artists, Mike Skinner of The Streets. During the final breakdown in ‘MoneyGrabber’ Fitzpatrick and Scaggs had the entire audience crouch down as low as they could go. Once everyone was down, then the music kicks in and everyone jumps to his or her feet tearing the roof off the house. Watch an example of “Get Low” below starting at about 3:20.
While FATT made smart choices in the covers they chose, I was not thoroughly impressed with their versions. (Even though everyone was dancing and singing to them). With such a distinct sound, FATT is at their best when they are doing their own music. But, what else could they do with only one record under their belt?
At the end of the show, Fitzpatrick invited the audience to the merch table where they were doing a meet and greet. A rarity for a band this popular, in a venue of this size. I’m still a 12-year old girl when it comes to meeting artists I like. I get giddy when I meet them, and I definitely could have used an autographed LP for my collection. But I’m actually a 34-year old man, and this man was tired! Three days in Vegas, a flight, a long car ride, and a great show later, I did not have the energy to wait in a line to meet them. Hopefully, they come back around soon. I would love to see them live again. This time with plenty of sleep under my belt.
Don’t Gotta Work It Out
Breakin’ the Chains
Winds of Change
Wake Up *New
Pickin’ Up the Pieces
Love Sick Man *New
Steady As She Goes (Raconteurs Cover)
Dear Mr. President
News 4 U
We Don’t Need No Love Songs
Sweet Dreams (Eurhythmics cover)