I was excited to see Fitz & The Tantrums last night. I caught some of their set at Riot Fest back in September and completely fell in love with their energy. Last night’s show wasn’t at all what I remembered from them and I ended up leaving disappointed.
Maybe the fact that I was in a seated auditorium was the problem. If you have been following my blog, you know that I have three main rules about concert going. One of them is to never pay for a seat at a concert if you don’t have to. If general admission is an option, get those even if it means you’re going to be a little short on rent that month. Unfortunately, last night’s show had no general admission and I was stuck in a seat. I will say that my seat was pretty damn good for being a press seat. I was in the 12th row right in the center. Even with such a good seat, the feeling of being confined to the small area in front of my chair was a bit disheartening. Did I want to mosh? No. Did I want to dance? No. I just wanted that feeling of freedom that I love at concerts.
Eventually, I got over the whole seat thing. I started talking to the people next to me and ended up really enjoying getting to know them throughout the night. They wanted to hear all about what I do and how I got into it. It didn’t seem like they had been to many concerts so they were asking me what to expect and if I had seen F&TT before. I explained to them that I had at Riot Fest and that I was absolutely blown away by their energy. I was ranting and raving about what they were about to experience and I could see them get excited for it. Then the band took the stage and I instantly regretted every word I said.
I was bored within the first song that F&TT played. There was absolutely no energy coming from singer Michael Fitzpatrick. He seemed either beyond exhausted or drunk (although I’m leaning towards the exhaustion idea). Last night was the last night of their current tour and I get that the feeling of exhaustion was a very real thing for the band members but that’s not an excuse. You are playing in front of hundreds of people who paid to see you play. They paid money, braved the first real snow of the season, and dealt with the horseshit parking situation that is downtown Minneapolis (all after probably working a full day) to see you play but you were tired? Really? That shit may fly with someone who doesn’t go to shows every night but for me, I can tell what’s going on and it really pisses me off.
The saving graces of the show were Noelle Scaggs (vocals and tambourine) and James King (sax, keys, and a whole slew of other instruments). They gave me something to watch and brought the energy that I expected from the band. Noelle Scaggs is hypnotizing to say the least. The way she moves and the way she sings with all of her might is definitely a sight to see. I think I watched her for majority of the show and that’s the only thing that kept me there. James King was great with his sax solos that he would wander into the spotlight for. He didn’t seem exhausted or out of it, he was into it and fun to watch. Had it not been for Noelle and James, I would have left after the second song.
I will say that the music was on point last night but, with it being a seated show and no energy coming from the “Fitz” part of the band, it was no different than sitting at home, in my warm apartment, listening to the CD really loud. I almost would have rather seen just “The Tantrums” last night. They were the only thing that made the set last night bearable.
Barns Courtney, the opening act, was the other saving grace of the show. Barnaby George Courtney (AKA Barns Courtney) is a indie/ pop/ punk singer and guitarist from England. This kid has a voice that is beyond powerful. It’s a bit funny to watch. When he takes the stage, he just seems like this scrawny little English boy but, as soon as he starts to sing, you can feel the jaws in the crowd hit the ground.
Barns Courtney currently only has an EP out but he is already getting radio play and the attention that his talent deserves. His set may have been short last night but it definitely got the crowd talking and wanting more. This is a super talented guy and I truly can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.
Last night was supposed to be a great show but that’s not how it ended up going.
Dear Bands: Don’t let exhaustion get the best of you. If I can work my day job, run my booking company, and go to a concert damn near every single day of my life, you can get on that stage and blow me away for an hour and a half. Exhaustion is not an excuse. You are getting paid to perform and spill your heart out on that stage. If you can’t do that, just cancel your show. Save us all the time and money.
Venue: State Theatre
Sausage Fest Meter- 3 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 35
Crowd Surfers- None
Danceability- Low Due To The Seats
Broken Bones- None
Popular Drink In The Crowd- Red Wine
How Many Times I Yawned- 24
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score-2 out of 10
Show on Deck- Har Mar Superstar/ Tickle Torture