Fun.'s sold out show at in Atlanta fell on a balmy Friday night. After what felt like hours of searching for parking (welcome to Midtown), I arrived at Center Stage to a positively packed theater. After hurriedly finding my seat, the fanatical crowd ROARED when a black and white banner reading "FUN." descended upon the stage. At that moment I knew the show would be more than worth the scalper's ticket price (I aint no fancy blogger, just a lil ol' fan).
As the lights dimmed, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff & Nate Reuss appeared to great fanfare - cheering, whooping, jumping, & lord knows what else. Finally situated onstage, Fun. opened with Some Nights and Walking The Dog, two incredibly catchy & massive jams. As the band performed the third song on the set-list, All the Pretty Girls, I noticed that nearly everybody knew the words to the perfectly-crafted POP choruses; the "na na na"s and the "wooa ooa ooa"s came from a long-standing Fun. fanbase.
The chemistry between the band-mates created an environment quite like that of meeting up with old friends. I thought, damn, you can really tell these guys are buddies... especially by the way they complement one another's styles. Nate Reuss was emotional & motivational, especially on songs like Why Am I the One (a real tear-jerker) & Carry On. Jack Antonoff, who sported the LGBTQ T-shirt that he helped design with Revel & Riot, lurched into each guitar solo with gusto (he rocked it on The Gambler). Equally impressive was Andrew Dost's Mary Poppins-esque bag of musical instruments: one minute he was singing and playing piano, the next he was on keyboard & trumpet. I'm pretty sure I even saw him whip out a flugelhorn. Good lord, I thought, is there anything this man can’t play?
But the show did not just revolve around the band. Nate, Jack & Andrew actually engaged their audience in friendly conversations from the stage - shmoozing about everything from Russell Brand to the movie 300. "What do you say we raise the dead tonight?!" Nate asked the crowd while entering into a blasting performance of Barlights. When I listened to the audience recite the chorus to All Alone, I thought, perhaps this is what makes Fun. so damn relatable; their ability to draw inspiration from many genres, their mastery of the POP chorus, & most of all, their ability to pack complex emotions into an accessible POP package. Somehow this crowd is chanting "I feel so all alone" happily & it sounds... honest.
Fun.’s performance stayed true to the band's signature sound. The set-list drew evenly from songs off of Aim & Ignite and their recent album, Some Nights. Operetta elements were still present in the live show, especially on songs like Be Calm. Songs that seemed mediocre or out of place on the second album, like All Alone, One Foot, & It Gets Better, sounded absolutely symphonic when performed live. It was a crowd-pleaser, for old and new Fun. fans alike.
Halfway through the night's performance, Nate took off his jean jacket. Standing in the middle of the stage in jeans and a T-shirt he looked totally boyish & animated, like a child before opening Christmas presents. Beaming, with a red solo cup in his hands, he addressed the cheering crowd, "I am having such a good fucking time! I want to thank you all so much. We've had some amazing things happen to us... but nothing beats this right here" and gestured towards the stage and the audience.
Nate's words were sincere, just like Fun.'s performance.