Concert review: Fitz and The Tantrums at State Theatre, St. Petersburg

With photos!

click to enlarge Concert review: Fitz and The Tantrums at State Theatre, St. Petersburg - Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson
Concert review: Fitz and The Tantrums at State Theatre, St. Petersburg

Whenever I get the chance to cover a band I've fallen in love with, it feels almost surreal to see them in an intimate setting like State Theatre. This past Wednesday, Fitz and The Tantrums strutted their Motown best, making their first-ever stop in St. Pete and shaking it hard enough to break their tambourines.

Tour openers Walk The Moon did not impress. The music was great, don’t get me wrong, but the vocalist was channeling Paul Banks of Interpol a little too much to come off as truly original. Everything was going well enough until they launched into a Fleet Foxes cover. And it wasn't just any Fleet Foxes song, but "White Winter Hymnal." A rather risky choice for this up-and-coming band to perform for an audience with an average age of 50. Needless to say, their version did not live up to the Fleet Foxes' own, replacing beautiful vocal harmonies, with synthesizers. If only we could have talked about this before they decided to play it ...

I saw Fitz and The Tantrums at this year's Lollapalooza, but didn't get to enjoy the alt soul/funk band's set after shooting it, mainly because I was what felt like 1,000 miles away from the stage. So when 9:30 rolled around, I worked my way up through the crowd towards the front, and was surprised to find that lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick (Mike Fitz) was a towering giant. We are talking monster height here, people, which makes his delivery come off as ever more forceful.

For once, State Theatre's sound was on point — way to go boys. Fitz danced their way through a 15-song set including an unexpected two-song encore. Now, I haven't done any research on the relationship Michael Fitzpatrick and frontwoman Noelle Scaggs, but their onstage chemistry sizzled as they traded-off on vocals and dance moves, even going so far as to fix each others' hair, and engage in some playful ass grabbing.

Modern day Motown doesn't get any better than this and it was totally worth it to cover this show in favor of trekking to Orlando for M83 (which I heard was saintlike). Afterwards, the entire band stuck around and made sure to sign anything and everything fans brought to them, taking pictures with fans, shaking hands, and really showing their appreciation to the St. Pete crowd.

Set list
Don’t Gotta Work It Out
Breaking the Chains of Love
Wake Up
Pickin Up The Pieces
Rich Girls
Tighter/We Don’t Need…
Love Sick Man!
Steady As She Goes
Dear Mr. President
News 4 U

Sweet Dreams

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