Five thoughts on the "We Are Young" stars' sold-out show.
Five thoughts from last night's sold-out fun. concert at LC Pavilion.
(1) When a band moves in a new direction like fun. did on "Some Nights" (details hereand here), there's a fear among the devoted that old-school fans will be left behind or at least neglected. The band's performance thoroughlydispelled those fears. For one thing, the set was pretty much a 50-50 split between songs from the first and second albums - if anything, they played more of the old stuff. And when you take away most of the studio trappings, it's pretty tough to tell the difference between a new fun. song and an old one.
(2) Speaking of studio trappings: They did make the occasional appearance last night. The band stormed out of the gate with "One Foot," one of the new album's most hip-hop-inflected selections, unapologetically blending live action with canned tracks. And during the big encore rendition of the title track from "Some Nights," singer Nate Ruess motioned to the sound guy and saw his voice bathed in sweet, synthetic AutoTune. To fault the band for such tricks is to miss the point. It's like booing Bob Dylan for going electric. These guys are obviously extremely capable musicians; they've just decided to expand their range of tools. Just listen to Ruess puring his soul into a microphone, or marvel as Andrew Dost punctuates his keyboard duties with a smooth trumpet solo. Fun. clearly isn'tleaning on technology to compensate for a lack of talent.
(3) There's a boyish earnestness about this band. Ruess was dressed like a middle school student, with a short-sleeve plaid shirt hanging open over a Celtics jersey, tuft of hair hanging in his eyes. During the encore, guitarist Jack Antonoff wore his own band's T-shirt. Ruess even gushed about how they could cuss on stage now because their parents were no longer on tour with them. (This really happened.) And cuss they did, Ruess imploring the crowd to join him in shouting any dirty words they could think of "as long as they're not racist or something."
(4) "We Are Young" was killer, but it wasn't the only killer sing-along last night. This band has a serious fan base, and they raised their voices with a lot of passion. Meanwhile, the triumphant encore rendition made new single"Some Nights" feel like a surefire second hit.
(5) "You Can't Always Get What You Want" would not have been on a list of songs I expected fun. to cover last night. They acquitted themselves well enough, but I'd rather hear their run through "Rocket Man" or "Bohemian Rhapsody" next time.