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Fitz & the Tantrums at DTE, 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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There have been plenty of hands clapping for Fitz & the Tantrums during the 13 months or so since the Los Angeles group’s third studio album came out.

Led by the ubiquitous single “HandClap,” “Fitz & the Tantrums” debuted at a career-high No. 17 on the Billboard 200 and the band enjoyed its biggest headlining tour yet. This month, meanwhile, Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick and company released a new Deluxe Edition of the album, featuring the new single “Fool,” to accompany its summer jaunt on the Honda Civic Tour with OneRepublic and James Arthur...

• Fitzpatrick, 46, says the success of the self-titled album and particularly “HandClap” has been even greater than the Tantrums expected. “When we were writing ‘HandClap’ I was pretty confident in that moment; I thought, ‘This song’s gonna be THE song for us this year,” Fitzpatrick recalls by phone from suburban Pittsburgh. “So I can’t say I was totally surprised by the reaction, but to see it get as big and reach as far as it has, I think it’s been the surprise of it. And to be out here with OneRepubilc on a show that’s not our bill and we start playing ‘HandClap’ and every single person in the room is on their feet singing the song, that’s a pretty amazing thing.”

• Fitz & the Tantrums could have remained a headliner in smaller venues, but choosing to return to an opening slot in front of a larger audience was the right thing to do this summer. “It’s definitely a different vibe,” he acknowledges. “To be back in an opener slot you’ve got to work a little harder, and I’m like, ‘Alright, there’s a lot of people that know us.’ I can see some people maybe have heard of us, maybe know one song. So I’m like, ‘Hey, this is our introduction. Let’s win these people over,’ and it’s been working. You can see it on social media and just reaction from the crowd.”

• There are other perks to being on this tour, however. “(OneRepublic) couldn’t be nicer guys,” Fitzpatrick ays. “Ryan (Tedder, OneRepublic’s frontman) is an amazing barbequeer, so every couple of nights he does his full show...and then goes out and grills for, like, two hours straight and makes the most amazing burgers and kabobs you’ve ever tasted. It’s been a really great experience for us.”

• The new single “Fool” was the reason the Deluxe Edition of the latest album exists, according to Fitzpatrick. “’Fool’ was a totally new song that came about a couple of months ago,” he says, “ and we played it for everybody, and management and everybody at the label was freaking out over it and said, ‘I think you’ve got another hit on your guys’ hands. We need to put this out for the summer tour. It’s a song that just felt pretty undeniable, and you know you’ve written a great song when it’s only been out for a few weeks and people already know it and are singing ‘Mama don’t raise no fool’ at the shows.”

• The next Fitz & the Tantrums album isn’t quite in the group member’s heads just yet. “At this point we’re just keeping our heads down and trying to make it through a long tour,” Fitzpatrick says. “’Fool’ is just going to radio now and getting a great response, but that stuff takes a long time. We’ve got a bunch of other shows and festivals to do in the fall, so I imagine we’ll probably start thinking about new music some time in the beginning of next year.”

If You Go

• 2017 Honda Civic Tour with OneRepublic, Fitz & the Tantrums and James Arthur

• 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 19.

• DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.

• Tickets are $25-$120 pavilion, $25 lawn.

• Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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