Galatyn Park Station, Richardson, TX – May 18, 2019
Let’s just start by saying that Fitz and the Tantrums left me like any other good lover that comes into your life. I’ve been lucky to have fallen in love (thank you, “Pickin’ up the Pieces” [album]) with the band’s soulful, sexy and attentive groove. But as our relationship progressed, I grew confused with the band’s new alt-indie-pop-and-roll sound (thanks, “More Than Just a Dream” [album] & their self-titled, “Fitz & the Tantrums” [album]). It wasn’t bad but maybe we just grew apart and became different people. So what was going to happen to us at Wildflower? Was it going to be like old times? Or would there only be the nuances of who you once were?
Ok, ok, sorry for the interlude. Meanwhile back at the festival, Judah the Lion pumped the crowd up with their angsty and rebellious proclamation of self-truth and identity. Lead singer Judah Akers declared to the crowd that he knows where the band is in the industry – so many of us might not know his band’s background and history – but he was going to help us come together as one. Cue Blink – 182’s “Small Things” followed by a raucous set that tore the crowd to pieces. Do yourself a favor and see Judah and Lion next time they come around.
The band left us hot and sweaty and ready for our next moment into Teddy Roosevelt’s arena. The crowd was ready to be put at peace and reconcile the emotional excavation Judah trail blazed for us. As I assessed the crowd behind festival barricades, it seemed to me that the demographic were parents who had come to appease their children with some punk rock promise, but also hoping to enjoy themselves along the way. I saw a mom with two kids standing near me on the opposite side of the barricade, one of the girls was hobbling along with a baby blue casted leg. “Who are you here to see?” I asked the girls, close to their ears. They told me Fitz and the Tantrums; I asked their age; they were literally twelve. My cynical mind pulled them in closer, “How did you hear about them?” both girls in unison pointed to their adult chaperone. Apparently, they hear Fitz and the Tantrums on Alt-Nation (Thanks, Sirius XM) and wanted to see the songs in person. I want to make sure to point out that the girls gave the chaperone 100% credit for exposing them to this music (ultimate cool points).
Fitz & the Tantrums began their set a little slowly, building up around the middle with “Out of my League” and “Fool”. The dance-pop groove electrified the crowds, making the smell of sandalwood and sweat inescapable. Fitz brought it back for all those chaperones with “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics, Fitzpatrick told the crowd ‘when I sing, “Keep your head up”, you say -”’ and an inaudible noise responded. It seems as though the number of teens and millennials out-weighed the chaperones. The answer in case you forgot? “Movin’ on”. Michael Fitzpatrick finished up this song and proclaimed his to his clearly junior crowd, “We will not let you stand there, texting on your cellular devices”. I bobbed as a beach ball with a glow stick in it bounced near, and it’s now that Fitzpatrick knows his true crowd for Richardson, Texas.
As the music finished and slight silence came over the crowd, an early twenties guy in an electric pink windbreaker and backwards cap screamed into the stormy heavens, “Moneygrabber!”. I felt the first chords played, and it was like I had been reunited my old lover. I was listening to the funk and groove that took me back to an album spinning on my record player. What a strange SMU-esque liaison of life that had taken me home to my old affairs of the heart.
All in all, Fitz and the Tantrums might have missed their opening and target demographic. But they quickly regained control and command of their crowd by reliving their old sound, appeasing not only myself but by the looks of it, the entire City of Richardson. I’ve fallen in love, grown confused and reconciled the sound of an old friend and lover to this, Fitz and the Tantrums – more poetically known as: The Millennial Electric Groove.
SET LIST :
- Get Right Back
- Don’t Gotta Work it Out
- Out of my League
- Break the Walls
- Sweet Dreams (Eurythmics)
- Fools Gold
- Help! (The Beatles)
- Roll Up
- Burn it Down
- All the Feels
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