Fitz and the Tantrums has been making music for 13 years | Photo provided

Fitz and the Tantrums welcome summery weather with a social-distanced outdoor concert at The Bend on Sat., May 29. The indie pop group consists of vocalist Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick, vocalist Noelle Scaggs, saxophonist/flautist James King, keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna, bassist Joseph Karnes and drummer John Wicks. 

After 13 years together, last year’s shutdown shook up the band’s creative energy. 

“COVID really allowed us to explore different terrain and give ourselves space to create on our own and explore musical ideas,” singer Noelle Scaggs told City Paper. Fitzpatrick released a solo album, Head Up High, and Ruzumna played in funk rock group, Left Field Messiah, while Scaggs launched her Diversify the Stage initiative. 

“I started it last year with a focus on creating more opportunities for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ community members as well as women identifying, non-binary and persons with disabilities,” Scaggs said. The program centers around diversifying hiring practices and bringing inclusivity to concert industry workspaces — stage crews, tech careers, promotion, organization and vendor suppliers. 

“Just, across the board, creating more diverse communities to reflect what we are seeing on stages,” she said. Diversify the Stages has an annual masterclass cohort of 25 people, as well as one-on-one mentorship and an internship program.    

To Scaggs, the pandemic gave people the space to generate social good. 

“I think people have the opportunity to see what’s happening in the world and make better decisions — that’s been an ongoing theme for friends of mine and myself — just being able to take a moment to look at our lives from a different viewpoint and make decisions based on what makes us happy.” 

Seating at The Bend is in the pod-style format you’re familiar with by now, and can be purchased starting at $225 for up to four people. Doors are at 6 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. show. Tickets are available through Charleston Music Hall.

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