(Or, if lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick’s paralyzing gaze means anything — I’m sure it does, right? — Fitz started one with me… nah, it was probably between the band and St. Louis generally… yeah, probably). Anyway, all night Fitz and vocalist Noelle Scaggs professed their love for the STL audience, exclaiming, “We love our fans in St. Louis!” and “St. Louis — you guys F***ING ROCK!” The band members even hung around after the show to meet their STL fans (yes! I got a picture with Fitz!).
Maybe it was his intense gaze, maybe it was the intimacy necessarily bred when hundreds of people overfill a small, dark, underground venue, or maybe it was the looming holiday that made us all feel oh-so in love (yes I’m referencing Valentine’s Day). Whatever it was, love, lust, sex and passion were in the air. “The world outside is oh so cold,” they sang. Well, last night, mere feet away from Fitz and his Tantrums, “I found a solution to all of my confusion”; yes indeed, “Sweet dreams are made of this.” Hot and steamy, the crowd pushed all the way up to the stage and danced with the band and each other — whoever was around — it was a regular love-fest.
Well, sort of. Maybe it was the pressure of sexual competition (there’s only one Fitz and one Noelle Scaggs to go around, ladies and gentlemen!) that caused a couple of jealous flare-ups resulting in one dude grabbing another and declaring, “If you don’t stop bumping him, I will kill you. He’s famous.” (Ironically, this “famous” kid apparently operating on an I-bump-you-but-don’t-bump-me-or-my-skinny-bodyguard-will-kill-you policy was escorted out after Noelle scolded the crowd to “stop bumping” — “The truth is you won’t / be coming here no more… I’m showing you the door / Wave goodbye now, it’s time for you to go.”). And then there was the woman who yelled in my girlfriend’s ear, “That’s MY HUSBAND.” Not sure why, as she was dancing with her boyfriend…
Anyway, once those moments passed and we all got over the petty jealousies (“Me, I’m doing fine”), the band seemed to forget the unfortunate “bumping” incidents and grooved on awesomely — “Hold your head up, movin’ on / Keep your head up, movin’ on!” “Hey! WOOP!”
And we DANCED (we didn’t BUMP anymore, mind you) last night; we totally rocked out, jammed up against each other with Fitz doing his own personal blend of finger-pointing and arm-flapping a la Mick Jagger and indie funk hip hop toe-tapping. Though Fitz claims, “I’ve been known to have some pretty awkward dance moves myself,” his moves were anything but; indeed Fitz “g[a]ve people permission to have fun.” Well, most people, that is. (Ok I’ll let it go! I know that forgiveness is the basis of any loving relationship!)
There really was a lot of love last night, as can only be felt in a truly awesome rock show — “you never felt this before / I don’t feel the same anymore.” After watching these musicians groove and feeling the heat rise from the crowd and hearing the sax and flute and tambourine and keys blast through the speakers, yes, it “Felt like the stars fell down before us / In a dream of you and me” (OK by “me” I mean St. Louis — really!).
F&T played 12 songs, including two new numbers (“Wake Up” and “6am”), as well as a cover of the Eurhythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” After an ear-splitting few minutes of cheering (“Come back baby…Come back baby”), the band returned for a 3-song encore including a heart-rending rendition of “We Don’t Need Love Songs” concluding with Fitz resting his head on the mic with palpable lament, then suddenly exploding in the grand finale “MoneyGrabber.” (Did I mention the sweaty body-touching / not BUMPING dancing?).
During the last song, Fitz made everyone get down low (and I mean everyone; Fitz called out the individuals who wouldn’t squat), whispering, “Sometimes we like to slow it down, make it SEXY TIME,” after which F&T brought us all to a climax with the chorus: “Don’t come back anytime / you’ve already robbed me blind!” Wait, that doesn’t sound like a love fest. Well, lyrics aside, they were in love, we were in love, lots of post-show sweaty hugging, yes indeed. “Oh what a lovely day.”
Don’t make this “first real rock show in STL” your last, F&T. You’re right when you say, “I know baby you’re mine.” I do believe we’ve started something really amazing.
1. Don’t Gotta Work it Out
2. Winds of Change
3. Breaking the Chains of Love
4. Wake Up
5. Pickin’ Up the Pieces
6. Rich Girls
7. Dear Mr. President
10. 6 am
11. News 4 U
12. Sweet Dreams (Eurhythmics cover)
13. Saturday’s Child (Scott Walker cover)
14. We Don’t Need Love Songs