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Fun. And Games At The Greek Theatre

Taylor A. Johnson |
September 4, 2013 | 2:27 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Tuesday night was Fun.’s first of two, sold-out shows at the Greek Theatre. The band is currently in the second leg of their Most Nights tour, joined by the twin sister duo of Tegan and Sara. (Tegan and Sara, though, will not be performing in the second show at The Greek). 

The evening began with this student/writer/fan fast-walking in hopes of catching the end of Tegan and Sara’s set. On the way, Will Noon, Fun.’s drummer, could be seen chatting with fans outside of the box office.

While not many recognized him, clearly Fun.’s longtime fans knew who he was when he casually introduced himself: “I’m Will.” Will’s introduction would have to wait (or maybe not since he had a show to play) as this writer zoomed to the show.

Unfortunately, only Tegan and Sara’s performance of their hit “Closer” was caught by this NT reporter, (due to the demands of Writing-340), but she imagines the rest of the set was equally as exciting.  Even a girl who looked about seven was waving her arms and singing along to every word.  

After all of the running around, it was officially time for Fun. to begin (so many “fun” puns can be made). Nate Ruess (lead singer), Jack

Nate, Jack, and Andrew in their formal tuxes.
Nate, Jack, and Andrew in their formal tuxes.
Antonoff (lead guitar, vocals), and Andrew Dost (piano, vocals, flugelhorn, man-of-many-talents) walked on stage in their bow ties and tuxedos. The three stood together as they, appropriately, began with the “Some Nights (Intro),” which is a very classy song itself.  

It was quickly time to ditch the tuxes, jump around, and fist-pump for Fun.’s energy-filled song, “One Foot.”  “Walking the Dog,” a fan favorite from their first album, “Aim and Ignite,” then kept the crowd dancing and the dedicated fans singing. Ruess’ enthusiasm for connecting with the fans in the front was obvious as he smiled and waved to those who sang out every word. 

The fans who filled the Greek ranged from teens to young adults in the front half of the venue, ending with more young adults and adults towards the back half of the venue. Some of the fans who made it all the way to the front row said they were from Canada and had never seen a Fun. show before.  

As someone who has been to four Fun. shows (starting in 2011), this concert was quite different from the rest. While it is inevitable that there were long-time fans of the band as well as fans of certain band members’ previous endeavors—from Nate Ruess’ The Format and Jack Antonoff’s Steel Train—it was easy to guess that more of the typical, L.A. persona who doesn’t like to stand at concerts was in attendance for this show.  

Fun. shows are fan-driven and Ruess always encourages everyone to sing along.  The Greek Theatre had a different vibe than most venues, as noted by Ruess and the guys when they egged the crowd on to get louder and more involved in the performance. The audience in attendance, whether sitting or standing, did seem to be enjoying the show. It is difficult to not enjoy a Fun. show! 

Nate Ruess singing away. (Photo by Taylor A. Johnson)
Nate Ruess singing away. (Photo by Taylor A. Johnson)
Nate Ruess was pitch-perfect as always as he demonstrated his notable, Queen-like range. Fun. continued with “All Alone,” “Why Am I the One,” “At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used To Be),” and “All the Pretty Girls,” which is a great song off of their first album and recommended if you are looking for an upbeat, getting-ready-on-a-Saturday-night, kind of song. 

It truly was a hot summer night as Ruess sang, “I can taste your summer sweat; It’s never been so warm,” during “It Gets Better.” While the song originally has a massive amount of auto-tune, a more common technique used in the “Some Nights” album, Ruess sang the song without any auto-tune affects on top of his vocals.  

Fun.’s performance of “Barlights” got the audience on its feet and clapping to the beat, with Ruess yelling, “I want to raise the dead tonight!” and it would seem the dead were raised. Confetti was shot out towards the end of the song—always a nice touch at shows (it’s confetti!)—and the crowd loved it. 

After “Carry On” was performed, Ruess told the audience how both Fun. albums were made in Los Angeles and that this show at the Greek was “the first official hometown show for [him].” The band continued to banter and hinted again that the crowd needed to get more pumped up.

Jack Antonoff even said, “It’s obvious that you’re real fans, but don’t act like you’re StubHub motherf*ckers.” You couldn’t help but laugh at that one.  

The band proceeded to pretend they were having their “first official breakdown,” and forced Andrew Dost to express his feelings, which included Dost stomping on the piano and yelling about his kale Caesar salad that unfortunately had capers. Many laughs were had.  

The crowd was silent during “The Gambler,” a sweet song about Ruess’ parents and their relationship that started when they were 18. Fun. then chose to cover The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which got most of the crowd on their feet and was a good choice for the range of ages. 

Their name in lights. (Photo by Taylor A. Johnson
Their name in lights. (Photo by Taylor A. Johnson
The night ended with Fun. playing “We Are Young,” as expected, which was followed by an encore of “Some Nights” and “Stars.” The boys then gave a heartfelt thank-you shout out to Tegan and Sara for touring with them and the night concluded with the word “Fun” written in fairy lights twinkling above the stage.  

Read more of NT's show reviews here.

Reach Staff Reporter Taylor A. Johnson here.



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