NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 5, 2014

Pushing the limits

Rockers Fitz and The Tantrums bring tour to Hampton Beach

When Fitz and The Tantrums arrive at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom on Sunday, chances are the six band members won’t be caught off guard the way they were in August 2010, following the release of their debut album, “Pickin’ Up the Pieces.”

“Things kind of accelerated for us so fast at the beginning that we literally didn’t even have enough material to play a headline show,” singer and keyboardist Mike “Fitz” Fitzpatrick said in a recent phone interview. “So we had to write a few more songs, get creative with some unique covers. It was definitely all-hands-on-deck to get it done.”

What’s providing comfort for the band now is the presence of a recently released second album, “More Than Just a Dream,” which changes the game when it comes to the live show.

“I think we’re all very excited to showcase these new songs from the new record and have the real body of work that we can change up our set from night to night,” Fitzpatrick said.

The new songs figure to do nothing but enhance the Fitz and The Tantrums live show. That’s because the band went into “More Than Just a Dream” wanting to create an album that reflected the energy and excitement of the group’s live shows.

The band’s live chemistry has been apparent from the day that members first played together, according to Fitzpatrick.

He began putting together the band in 2008, after he wrote the song “Breakin’ the Chains of Love” on a newly purchased electric organ.

His first recruit was his college friend, saxophonist James King, who recommended powerhouse female singer Noelle Scaggs and drummer John Wicks. The drummer knew the two other musicians who completed the lineup: bassist Joseph Karnes and keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna.

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