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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Clapping my hands to Fitz and the Tantrums this Valentine’s day

The band behind iconic hits like “Out of My League” and “HandClap” rocked out at the Brooklyn Bowl on Feb. 14.
Fitz+and+the+Tantrums+perform+at+the+Brooklyn+Bowl%2C+captured+on+Feb.+14%2C+2023.+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FEigen+Escario%29
Eigen Escario
Fitz and the Tantrums perform at the Brooklyn Bowl, captured on Feb. 14, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Eigen Escario)

While most people celebrated Valentine’s Day with their significant other — or alone with a pint of ice cream — I had the chance to see Fitz and the Tantrums at Brooklyn Bowl. Even though the crowd was full of couples on this love-centric holiday, it was still an amazing performance,  full of surprising saxophone solos and sentimental moments.

Sammy Rash, the opener, is an up-and-coming pop artist whose lyrics feel relatable to any young adult. When Rash introduced himself, he explained that it was his first time in Nashville. He described writing songs in his garage with his acoustic guitar, never imagining actually performing them. Despite being a newcomer to performing, Rash had a natural proclivity for engaging the audience, whether through teaching the audience what to sing before the song started or encouraging the people who already knew the words to sing louder.

With upbeat hits like “Out of My League” and “HandClap,” Fitz and the Tantrums have been an iconic presence in the pop world for 15 years now. The band comprises six individuals: lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick, co-lead vocalist Noelle Scaggs, James King on saxophone, keyboard, flute and guitar, bass guitarist Joseph Karnes and John Wicks on the drums. 

The set was my favorite part of the show. The varying light sequences and colors on the board behind the drums elevated either the beat, crowd and songs. 

The amount of energy the group had was exceptional. Their constant movement on stage was fun to watch and added to the buzz in the room. This energy, from both the crowd and the band, remained from the first song all the way through three encores. Fitzpatrick and Scaggs danced throughout the entire show, not even seeming tired by the end. The best audience moment was when “I Just Wanna Shine” played and everyone put their flashlights on and swayed to the beat. 

Of course, it was entertaining to experience such a high-tempo show, but it would have been nice to have slowed down the audience interactions. The transitions between songs cleverly introduced the following song, but beyond that, there was no pause.

 

The three encore songs were “MoneyGrabber,” “AHHHH” and “HandClap.” Before the last encore, Fitzpatrick shared his career journey. He was 22 years old when beginning his career, and with his first band, he released three albums, none of which took off. After experimenting with the corporate world for a few years, Fitz and the Tantrums was eventually formed and he was 38 years old when their first major album “Pickin’ Up The Pieces” was released. Fitzpatrick explained he wanted the audience to know that they do not have to accomplish their dreams in their twenties or even their thirties, stating “your time will come.” 

It was a joy to spend Valentine’s Day screaming songs like “Out Of My League” and “HandClap” with the band and listeners around me. 

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About the Contributors
Chloe Pryor
Chloe Pryor, Staff Writer and Photographer
Chloe Pryor (‘26) is from Fort Smith, Ark., and is double majoring in psychology and communications studies. When not writing for The Hustler, you can fund her reading, drawing or running late for class. You can reach her at [email protected].
Eigen Escario
Eigen Escario, Former Staff Photographer
Eigen Escario ('26) is from Birmingham, Alabama. He is majoring in human and organizational development with a double major in computer science and minoring in business in Peabody College. In his spare time, Eigen enjoys taking ballroom lessons with his friends and handling the livestream for Vandy Ice Hockey.
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