Remember that scene in the 1997 Vince Vaughn comedy Swingers, were he, Jon Faverou and their group of friends go to the legendary Brown Derby club in LA and as soon as they walk in, the place is jumping to the music of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy? That is exactly what Bowery Ballroom looked like last night as LA’s newest sensations (and one of the 15 acts I tipped to break in 2011), Fitz and the Tantrums took the stage at the sold out venue. Led by the charismatic Michael Fitzpatrick aka Fitz and the beautiful and seductive Noelle Scaggs, Fitz and the Tantrums are on the road supporting their 2010 sophomore release, Pickin’ Up the Pieces. On a rather cold night, the hot LA band cranked up the heat for over an hour and had the place going upside down. The band’s soul meets swing sound is nothing short of extraordinary, they know how to have fun and they know how to work a room. Fitz himself has the swagger of Mick Jagger, while Noelle Scaggs, who was suffering with some vocal issues – yet you would never know, is just as powerful as Sharon Jones or Darlene Love. Meanwhile, The Tantrums are one hell of a band just utilizing bass, drums, piano and horns – no guitar, no trumpet, and just pure raw power.
Performing songs from their two records and even adding a few brand new songs including the instant classic, “6 AM,” Fitz and the Tantrums are showing why they are becoming one of the most talked about bands on the road right now. Even before taking the stage, former MTV VJ and local radio personality and all around music encyclopedia Matt Pinfield took the stage to announce the band, even he was gushing as to how brilliant they are on stage. It is full on good clean fun and they have perfected it. If this band does not headline larger venues in the coming months and years, there is something seriously wrong with the music industry. Check them out while they are on the road and you will understand why I tipped them to be one of this years “15 Artists to Watch” and you will thank me later.