For those who haven’t listened to the radio at any point this summer, this is the story of a band named Fun — and how they have won the hearts of fans young and old alike. The band, fronted by former The Format singer Nate Ruess, played to their largest headlining crowd yet on Wednesday night at the Open Air Theater.
Philadelphia rap band Chiddy Bang opened the show, and while they seemed to have attracted a bit of interest from a small portion of the crowd, most of the audience acted unimpressed and uninterested. The only standout moment from Chiddy Bang’s set was the final song: the successful remix of MGMT’s single “Kids.”
Upon first listen of Fun’s sophomore album Some Nights, a few things become clear; first, the album is full of potential runaway crossover hit singles, and there is something unique about Ruess’ stylized vocals. These two elements take over the stage during their performances in a welcoming way rarely seen on stages. Bursting onto stage with “Why Am I the One,” and following with “Carry On,” the concert seemed to morph from rock show to off-Broadway musical.
Fun had the feel and sound of a modern-day Queen, if Freddie Mercury had hailed from Brooklyn. From the theatrics of the music, to the energy palpable from Ruess’ memorable stage presence and facial expressions, the band’s whole set felt like a party with 5,000 of your closest friends and plenty of chances for karaoke sessions.
Older fans of the band were pleased with “Barlights,” “All the Pretty Girls,” and a couple other earlier tracks being included on the short-but-fulfilling 13-song track list. The show began its closeout with “Song of the Summer” nominee “We Are Young,” pleasing the entire amphitheater and making some great cell phone videography out of crowd sing-alongs. As with many widely popular hits, experiencing the songs live becomes more about hearing the crowd sing as opposed to the artist, but to much surprise, the sound technicians didn’t let Ruess and the rest of band get drowned about by the audience.
Shows with this much great energy would not be complete without confetti cannons, and during one of the last songs, the audience was blanketed in a sea of tiny paper, adding to the party atmosphere of the night.
The band returned for a two-song encore, covering The Rolling Stones’ classic, “You Can Always Get What You Want,” and the title single of the album, “Some Nights.” At SDSU’s Open Air Theater, Fun was more than just fun, more than just music, and more than just renditions of their songs: they were a concert experience for all ages.
Photos – Fun at SDSU Open Air Theater