It's a blessing and a curse being one of rockdom's most well-traveled outfits, Michael "Fitz" Fitzpatrick says of his hardworking Fitz and the Tantrums. For two years before its 2010 debut "Pickin' Up the Pieces" came out, the band toured virtually nonstop, taking any gig it could get. But after hit singles such as "MoneyGrabber" and "Don't Gotta Work it Out," there was no resting on laurels; they played even more concerts, walking around like sleep-deprived zombies, Fitz says. He addressed the topic on the Tantrums' new R&B-meets-new-wave follow-up, "More Than Just a Dream," on songs including "6 AM," "Get Away" and "Merry Go Round" — which they're backing with even more dates.
Is touring one gigantic blur these days? It's the nomadic lifestyle. We just did a show in Miami, and I walked through the whole Miami airport convinced that we were in Chicago. Until we walked outside and it was like a wall of humidity — then I was like, "We're in Miami for sure!" But for some reason, I was convinced we were in Chicago. We weren't going there until four days later.
Ever thanked the wrong city from a stage? Oh, I've done that before. It was actually in Spokane, but I said Seattle, and people did not like that. But the worst was in Dallas, where I called them Houston, and there's a huge rivalry. And then I was like, "Oh, come on, Austin! It's OK!" So not only did I call them the wrong city name once, I did it twice. And ever since we did our very first show, I've gone out and done a meet-and-greet at the merch table every night. And that night, half of the reason they were in the line was to give me s*** and to roast me. But for the number of shows we've done, I'm surprised it hasn't happened more often.
You have a distinctive stripey Martin Fry hairstyle. Have doppelgangers started to pop up in the audience? Yes! In Seattle, we were onstage, and in the front row there's this kid with my exact same hairdo, singing every word. But the weirdest one? On Halloween, there was this couple that dressed as the two of us, me and Noelle [Scaggs, co-vocalist]. He had the hair swish, she had the little '60s dress on. And we were playing this festival that Grace Potter puts on in Vermont, and there was a little boy who'd gotten his hair cut like mine, and then his mom had dyed his bangs. So it's a weird experience to have people dressing up like you. Even for Halloween!Fitz and the Tantrums
Where: Warfield, 982 Market St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $26 to $40
Contact: (415) 673-4653, www.axs.com