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Review: Fitz & the Tantrums @ Mercury Lounge

September 29th, 2010

If you have a chance to see them, definitely take it.

This past Saturday some friends and I dropped on down to Mercury Lounge on East Houston in Manhattan for an early show by Fitz & the Tantrums.  The band, fronted by Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs has been burning up my iPod of late and was featured in a player post linked here.

Needless to say, I knew I was going to love the music, but I was bringing along two newbies as well.  The sound is relatively unique and hasn’t gone mainstream yet.  It is somewhat of a revisit to 50s soul music, but with a decidedly modern hipster vibe.  While I normally want to punch most things hipster, that’s not the case for Fitz & the Tantrums.

The show was sold out, but the venue was not so crowded as to make the concert uncomfortable or getting drinks impossible.  In fact, the only complaint could be some issues with the bass levels and our choosing to stand too close a bank of speakers.  It took a good day for my right ear to clear up fully.

All in all, the show was outstanding and the crowd was lively.  The band played near studio quality tunes, true to the CD and the only real hiccup is when Scaggs fell off the stage into the crowd.  After getting up with little more than her pride hurt, she claimed her tussle with gravity was a failed stage dive with nobody catching.  As a note, I’m not sure being found unworthy in a trust fall is any less embarrassing than catching an edge of the stage.

All in all, I could not recommend the show more highly.  This is an opportunity to catch a rising artist before they hit it big.

Some additional thoughts and videos from the performance after the jump.

The band played a set of about nine or ten songs, including all of their big hits.  The highlight, though, may have been their cover of the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams.”  It was a very good fit for them, musically and rocked the house.  It is the first song embedded below.

Some of the sound on these videos is a little less than stellar. But if you like what you hear, I recommend heading on over to Amazon and downloading the full CD Pickin’ Up The Pieces
or the five-song EP Songs for a Break Up, Vol.1.

Sweet Dreams

Money Grabber

Rich Girls

News 4 U

6 in the Morning

Don’t Gotta Work it Out

Breaking the Chains of Love

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