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Fitz and the Tantrums live the dream

Eric Pulsifer

“Austin is kinda like our second home,” Fitz and the Tantrums frontman Michael Fitzpatrick said. “This band got our record deal when we came here many moons ago and played SXSW.”

If Fitz and the gang owed any a debt to Austin for their break in 2010, they paid it back in full today. The band drew a near headliner-sized crowd (or larger than headliner-sized crowd if that headliner is Skrillex) to the Honda Stage this afternoon. At stage’s edge, Fitzpatrick and co-vocalist Noelle Scaggs kept hands waving and heads bobbing as far as I could see from the front.

From those SXSW 2010 sets on Sixth Street to the stage at Zilker, Fitz and the Tantrums has changed — and not just their clothes, which (I realize now sounds like a dad joke, but keep going) used to lean more toward “Mad Men” suit-and-tie than today’s set’s skater chic T-shirts and sneakers. The style change was also reflected in their sound.

Though their older work leaned more on organ-driven soul than their newest record’s indie pop, the old and new material blended into a seamless boogie along with a properly Fitz-ified cover of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” as the cherry on top. As they closed with pounding pop hit “The Walker,” Fitzpatrick thanked the fans once again. “Thank you, Austin, for making our dreams come true.”