From their small club shows years ago and up until their recent major mainstream success, Fun. manages to come to the stage with a renewed energy and fire each and every time. As if hearing their hit single “We Are Young” appearing in all sorts of tv and radio spots isn’t proof enough, Fun. selling out a date at the Arlene Schnitzer Music Hall is a pretty large indicator of the success they’ve found themselves in the midst of.
Though Some Nights, the band’s release from earlier this year, has garnered critical acclaim, it’s hard to get a full scope of their grandeur until you get the chance to hear them performed live. From the musicianship (Andrew Dost’s pitch-perfect trumpet inclusions, saxophone player Emily Moore’s jazzy contributions, or the pair’s dueling piano/keyboard melodies), to frontman Nate Ruess’ unreasonably clear and commanding vocal performances, to the sheer enthusiasm (guitarist Jack Antonoff is known for this bouncy stage antics)… Fun. creates an onstage spectacle that is… well… just downright fun!
The band opened up their set with “One Foot” and the crowd instantly was on their feet, cheering and singing along. In some settings, theaters with seats can really cut down on the general energy in the room, creating a barrier between fans and all of the chaos on stage, but in this case, the excitement swept through the room regardless. Watching members of Fun. march around the stage with the music hall’s gorgeous, ornate facades in the background was sort of a surreal experience, but for however out of place it seemed, the band seamlessly made it their own from the first song, through the encore.
Sandwiched around plenty of comical onstage banter, the band blazed through a long set featuring a split of songs from both Some Nights as well as Aim and Ignite (released in 2009). “It Gets Better” and “Barlights” were stand-outs, featuring absolutely deafening crowd participation during the choruses—it was honestly hard to tell who was having a better time, the crowd or the band. Fun has gained attention from a notably widespread breadth of people—from younger kids to older couples dressed up for the event, fans were standing, dancing and singing from the front to the very last row in the balcony. During “We Are Young,” confetti exploded from side-stage and cast the room in a fluttering blanket of white. With every song, Ruess seemed more and more entranced, later mentioning how his own family was in the crowd, making it a special performance for him.
After over an hour long set, Fun. finished out the show with a rousing rendition of both the intro and the title track of Some Nights, leaving the stage to a standing ovation from the crowd.
Photos by Kimberly Lawson. More on Flickr.
Words by Jenna Fletcher.