Words by Steve Melone
Fitz and the Tantrums showed up at Terminal 5 in Hell’s Kitchen to serve up a highly energized show for fans old and new. In the midst of their Get Right Back tour, the band played songs from each album, though songs from the new self-titled release were in the spotlight.
Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick had complete control of the crowd and seemed to garner greater energy as the show went on rather than wiping out. I guess a packed New York crowd can do that to you at T5, even on a Tuesday night.
Fitz had little to say until finishing the first three songs, “Get Right Back,” “Spark,” and “Don’t Gotta Work It Out.” He quickly took his jacket off, decked out in all white now, including the strands of white in middle of his hair-do that he would sporadically wipe towards the back as the sweat got closer to his face. He finally spoke, “How you fuckin’ doin!?”
The audience was glad to welcome Michael and his co-vocalist, Noelle Scaggs, who kept reacting to the crowd every so often yelling, “New York!” The two lit up the stage throughout the night, playing off each other vocally and physically. The MVP of the night had to be James King. The guy ripped it on the sax the whole night, bouncing between a higher octave sax to a lower one, then keyboards and even some guitar at times. At one point he was playing the keyboard and sax simultaneously without flinching. They were all entertainers through and through; they couldn’t stay still and didn’t want to. They made sure the audience didn’t either. Fitz made a note to the crowd, “We cannot see you like a wallflower on your cellular devices. It’s about getting down and dirty with us!” He and Noelle danced throughout the show and kept the energy high and the crowd in line, “I know it’s only a Tuesday night, but I hope you’re all getting riled!” And riled they were.
They continued playing songs, “Out of My League,” “Handclap,” and “Breakin’ the Chains of Love.” Towards the middle of the set Fitz took a second to intro their next song. “I know you all have had that person. They’re just no good for you. But, you can’t resist. Every time they call you gotta pick up the phone!” He went on then stopped, introducing one of their newest hits, “Complicated.” Noelle and Mike danced all over each other. Singing in each other’s faces with no lack of style. As the song ended James King decided to extend it an extra two minutes with a bare sax solo while he ran across the stage. Michael Fitzpatrick looked on making gestures in disbelief. I don’t think it was something he was expecting, which just made it that much better.
The band continued their set with flair and movement that wouldn’t let you feel out of sync with what was going on around you. They ended their set with “L.O.V.,” one of the top songs off their first release, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, which seems to have a far more vintage sound in comparison to the last two releases.
They walked off stage after a quick “Thank You!” The crowd waited five seconds before chanting and yelling for them to come back on stage. Fitz came out alone. The crowd roared. He took his time getting to the mic then asked, “You want more?” The crowd screamed. He stumbled back as if he was surprised and shaken, though deep down I think he knew what the people wanted. He gave it to them after the band returned to the stage. The band returned and two more songs were played.
The two song encore consisted of “Moneygrabber,” and “The Walker.” The only disappointment of the night was not hearing one of their greatest songs, “Dear Mr. President.” It’s my personal favorite, though I was anything but disappointed.
You could tell by the end of the show they were completely wiped, finally. You could hear in their voices too. “Goddamn New York City!” They were full of gratitude as they wrapped up the show that night. “To all of you a most sincere and heartfelt thank you! We love you and we will see you next time!”
Get Right Back
Don’t Gotta Work it Out
Out of My League
Break the Walls
Breakin’ the Chains of Love
Do What You Want
Burn It Down
TheWaster.com | NYC