The marquee at the entrance to the Electric Factory should have read “Souled Out”, as Fitz and The Tantrums brought their Motown-inspired rock music to a full house on Friday night, packing the walls of the Factory with spirited fans. There was barely room to breathe, but fans made room to jump and clap for Michael Fitzpatrick and all of “the Tantrums” as they played a string of hits and crowd-favorites that elated all of whom were lucky enough to attend.
Big Data, fresh off their recent hit “Dangerous”, made sure that everyone with a ticket showed up early. Joined on stage by a female singer for most of the set, Alan Wilkis (the mind behind Big Data) made use of the larger venue and filled the stage with enough percussion and synthesizers to accurately amp up the crowd for the ensuing dance party. The crowd was packed with a heavy dose of “Mainline Cougars” hiding their draft beers from security guards, and while I’d bet they had know idea who Big Data was, they were fans by the end of the set. Cougars love to live “Dangerous”.
Before the headliners took the stage, attendees were handed white, light up bracelets that pulsated when you clapped. Some of the aforementioned Cougars took two, robbing their daughters of the party favors, while others clamored for the free gifts. The stage lights dimmed, the crowd roared and a seven foot tall heart lit up in the middle of the stage, lighting the way for Michael Fitzpatrick and co-vocalist Noelle Scaggs to take the stage and enrapture us for ninety minutes.
Opening with the vivacious single, “Get Away” and saturating the dance floor with James King’s saxophone grooves throughout the night, Fitzpatrick and Scaggs never let up on their energy. They gyrated and jumped and got the crowd feeling real groovy as they rioted through their hits, “Out of My League” and “Breaking The Chains”. Fitz and The Tantrums then followed with a heavier version of “L.O.V.” before covering “Tainted Love” by Gloria Jones, which was a pleasant synth-heavy surprise. They “flash-danced” through the rest of the set and ended by covering the Electric Factory in confetti during a rowdy rendition of “Money Grabber” that shook the stage. They ended with a soulful encore and an appreciative wave to the crowd, before the tall electric heart dimmed black and the confetti was tracked outside into the cold.
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