Wild Nights With Rappers

My Awkward Night With Fitz and the Tantrums at Jimmy Kimmel Live

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Thu, May 23, 2013 at 3:45 AM

click to enlarge Left to right: Jimmy Kimmel, James King, Joseph Karnes, Noelle Scaggs, Michael Fitzpatrick , Jeremy Ruzumna  John Wicks - DANIELLE BACHER
  • Danielle Bacher
  • Left to right: Jimmy Kimmel, James King, Joseph Karnes, Noelle Scaggs, Michael Fitzpatrick , Jeremy Ruzumna John Wicks
[Editor's note: Soon-to-be-award-winning gonzo music journalist Danielle Bacher prowls the late late night scene for West Coast Sound. For this installment, she hits the town with LA-based soul-pop band Fitz and the Tantrums.]

I should probably have dropped quarts of acid into the disgusting coconut water in the dressing room at Jimmy Kimmel Live! It's the perfect drink to fuck with since it tastes like dirty socks. Then again, drugging Fitz and the Tantrums would not have been the right thing to do.

5:20 p.m.: It's chilly outside as the band rehearses "Out of My League" for Kimmel. It's from their second album More Than Just a Dream, out earlier this month on Elektra Records. Did you know this band is kind of a big deal? They're getting radio play, and were even on the LL Cool J record!

5:27 p.m.: They sound pretty good, but this is not my kind of music. This is my first time hearing them live.

See also: Dave Navarro Made Me Cry

click to enlarge DANIELLE BACHER
  • Danielle Bacher
5:43 p.m.: Their lightweight, soul-pop vibe reminds me of Maroon 5. Singer Michael Fitzpatrick, 42, has a near-white silver streak in the front of his mop of hair. He's sporting tight black pants with a zipped-up black jacket, boots and sunglasses.

5:44 p.m.: Some tech guy who looks like Anthony Bourdain walks across the stage. He looks uncomfortable.

5:55 p.m.: The band leaves the stage, and singer Noelle Scaggs looks pissed, not sure why.

click to enlarge Noelle Scaggs (Left) John Wicks (Middle) Michael Fitzpatrick (Right) - DANIELLE BACHER
  • Danielle Bacher
  • Noelle Scaggs (Left) John Wicks (Middle) Michael Fitzpatrick (Right)
5:57 p.m.: They're a sextet, Fitzpatrick, Scaggs, bassist Joseph Karnes, keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna, drummer John Wicks and multi-instrumentalist James King, and now they walk backstage to the dressing room. Joseph gives me a fist bump.

6:00 p.m.: Right now it's clear that the band doesn't really give a fuck that I'm here. They're preoccupied with dressing for the performance. Jeremy doesn't really understand what I am doing here. But hey, at least he's talking to me.

6:04 p.m.: I feel uncomfortable. I rarely feel this way around musicians, but this time is different. I don't feel a connection to anyone in the band right now. I feel like an outsider, and then I feel stupid for feeling that way.

6:06 p.m.: I look into my purse at least six times. There's really nothing to be had inside of there.

6:07 p.m.: The dressing room is filled with publicists, label representatives, family and friends. I shuffle around the small room and pretend to be interested in a variety of things, such as the mini chocolate bars on the table. Jeremy looks at me while I grab a Twix. One of their friends grabs a Snickers. She says she enjoys it. I disagree and say the peanuts kill it for me. She walks away.

6:08 p.m.: I watch the show, in progress, on the TV. Actress Zoe Saldana is on the screen. Jeremy is slumped over on the couch cracking a joke about not being dressed yet. Noelle is sitting next to him looking at her phone. Her publicist tells her that her makeup looks great. She mentions that she needs lipstick. I get uncomfortable again and get up.

6:09 p.m.: I look at my phone five more times. I leave the green room and am informed that I cannot take any pictures inside the dressing room, or this publication will get sued.

6:10 p.m.: I'm bored, so I decide to take a tour of the green room.

6:11 p.m.: People are getting drunk in here. Some dude spills beer on the floor and stumbles toward the bar.

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