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November 14, 2011 / jhsaeger

Fitz and the Tantrums Bring Party to South Philadelphia
    Fitz and the Tantrums made the Philadelphia stop on their winter tour on Saturday night, exuding an energy that thrilled the crowd at the sold out Theater of the Living Arts.  Singer Michael Fitzpatrick commanded the songs and cohort Noelle Scaggs commandeered the crowd as the two passionately urged on concertgoers to dance, sing, and clap.  
   The Tantrums, however, are not just a bundle of energy, but are a fantastic group of musicians as well.  Drummer John Wicks puts on his own show while saxophonist James King lends a real sense of cool to the band.  Not to be left out, keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna –  who plays a central role in songs like “Don’t Gotta Work it Out” and “Pickin’ Up the Pieces.”  Bassist Joseph Karnes also lays down a great series of bass lines throughout their lineup songs.  Their combined sound prompts the question – how does a band without any guitars sound as loudly as they do?
   In addition to playing most of the songs from their debut full-length, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, the group mixed in a handful of songs from a record that is still in the works.  The new songs received a positive reception from the crowd, particularly “Love Sick Man,” which sounded like single material.  Fitzpatrick sang powerfully in the song “Tighter” and lectured the crowd as if he were a preacher before “Rich Girls.”  The group closed with “Moneygrabber,” as the TLA erupted for their smash hit.  
   The Tantrums also played a pair of polar opposite covers – molding The Raconteurs’ “Steady As She Goes” and The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” into their own style.  
   Opener Walk the Moon also performed in the style of their headliners – playing with nonstop energy and enthusiasm to win over the audience.  The face-painted indie pop group played songs from their 2010 EP i want! i want!.  To the delight of the early crowd, Walk the Moon covered The Fleet Foxes’ White Winter Hymnal after the Tantrums’ James King lent his ardent saxophone play to “Lisa Baby.”  Michael Fitzpatrick also thanked the group during his own set, hailing them as a band to watch and reminded the crowd that they “saw them here first.”

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