FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS
By: Sean Varicalli
Day number two at Bonnaroo and this was a day that was on my radar for awhile. It could not have started off better with a better performance by a heavy Motwon influenced and soul group, Fitz and the Tantrums. The rather unique looking band, with only a bassist, keyboardist, drummer and saxophonist, Fitz and Noelle Scaggs took the stage with ‘We Don’t Gotta Work It Out.’ Which not only sent the crowd in to a frenzy, but set up an interesting give and take between Fitz and Scaggs as well. The songs ending and pounding chorus repeats a section of “na na na na’s” which you literally can’t get out of your head and now the imagery will be with me forever as well. With Fitz taking one side and Scaggs the other, it made for a interesting dynamic between band and crowd members.
Playing the title track off of their debut studio album, ‘Picking Up the Pieces of Love’ both lead vocalists shared a microphone and essentially screamed in to each other’s mouth. These songs, which feature no guitar by the way, are solely driven on a smooth and vibrant bass line. Which on the surface, makes Fitz and the Tantrums and easy stop by and check out sort of band. Taking time in between and during songs, Fitz seemed so genuinely thankful for the opportunity to not only play Bonnaroo, but to see all of the fans that took time out of their festival going experience to see them. After what seemed like a monologue from Fitz, a surprise cover of The Racounters song ‘Steady As She Goes’ was pretty refreshing as we all watched the band play some good, old fashioned rock and roll music, then closing things out with their hit, ‘Moneygrabber.’ As a second or third tier headliner band, Fitz and the Tantrums were an absolute must see. And as the band announced at their Bonnaroo performance, their new record will be coming out on October ninth, so there should be plenty of chances to see them.