Concertgoers danced shoulder-to-shoulder. LED striplights flashed. From the street Tuesday night, it was evident the Bluebird Nightclub was packed nearly to capacity for the return of LA-based band Fitz and the Tantrums.
Opening was indie-pop group Finish Ticket from the San Francisco Bay Area.
With two sets of brothers — Brendan and Michael Hoye and Gabe and Nick Stein — the group has been interconnected since banding together in 2012.
The band played “Shake a Symphony” from its self-released album and “When Night Becomes Day” from a more recent album released on Elektra Records.
“These boys are on the same wavelength,” said audience member Lea Martin of Greencastle, Indiana. “Even their head bobbing is choreographed.”
Finish Ticket lead vocalist Alex DiDonato addressed the audience before the stage was cleared and prepped for Fitz and the Tantrums.
“Bloomington ... all the shops, all the restaurants, it’s amazing,” DiDonato said. “We’re so grateful to be here in your neighborhood.”
Between acts, people of every age and demographic mingled. IU student Jordan Harris ran a glow-paint booth in which she replicated the cover of the Tantrums’ newest album, “Fitz and The Tantrums,” on audience members’ hands.
“I decided to volunteer after my friend took me to see this band,” Harris said. “I’ve liked their music since I saw them at the Bluebird. It’s very groovy.”
Excitement was palpable as fans waited for the Tantrums. After the indie-pop-soul group assembled in the dark, its 2010 hit “Don’t Gotta Work it Out” — along with electric green strobe lighting — filled the room with energy.
The group’s sound was high-voltage, with traces of Motown from the early 1960s and Maroon 5-like electropop.
Baby, I’m gonna need a doctor’s care
To help me through the night
I’ve been told the world outside is so cold.
Lead vocalist Michael Fitzpatrick scanned the crowd and encouraged concertgoers to sing along with exaggerated hand gestures.
The Tantrums’ February 2013 single “Out of My League,” which reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, was next.
Numbers from the Tantrums’ latest album were dispersed throughout the night.
“Run It” and “Get Right Back” often erred on the side of electronic dance music.
In lieu of applause, some audience members formed hearts over their heads.
Joe Nelson of Indianapolis said he was “very happy” with the new album, which just recently came out June 10.
“Yes, it might be repetitive, some people might say it is disposable music,” Nelson said Tuesday night. “But I say it’s good fun. Sleek and slick and fun.”
Ella Rasmussen of Carmel, Indiana, said she was hoping for more of the sound the Tantrums achieved in its first album.
“They’ve moved completely away from their roots, which is understandable given how hot EDM culture is right now, but I still find it sad,” Rasmussen said.
“I liked their old-school R&B personality, and it’s a shame they’re going mainstream.”
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