The fact hung in the air throughout the night, thicker than the fog projected into the space: Fun. is No. 1 in the country. People really like them and the numbers don’t lie. It felt good to bask in it that night at The Vic Theatre. Not just for fans, but to feel the band feel it together was a rare and fortunate opportunity. Being in the room felt good.
A wonderful moment happened, too, when lead vocalist Nate Ruess explained the emotional impact of plaiying at The Vic for the band. “I always say, ‘Get to The Vic, get to The Vic, get to The Vic,’ because that’s when we knew we’d made it.” Here they were, 13 songs strong and backed by two studio albums and armed with the confidence of a veteran rock band, finally sure they had made it.
Riding their high from the infant success of the band’s chart performance fueled them to nail a stellar musical performance, too. The band flashed lights to song the first song, while heavy beats started off the show with “One Foot” and the show was off to a very energetic start.
Fun. sailed through a thick set of fire-pumping tunes, heavy on the fan favorites and chantlike hits. The six-piece band smiled as they strummed or stroked while singer Ruess bounced around the stage with the energy of a kid on coffee, pumping his fist at the audience with the microphone in his hand and asking fans to sing along with him throughout his show.
One might presume that “We Are Young” would consume the night’s most shining moment, but they’d be wrong. Fun.’s greatest moments happened in “Why Am I” and “Some Nights,” where fans could validate their love for the band by singing their hearts out to lesser-known songs that the band, too, might not have gotten sick of just yet.
The show chugged through two encores, a feat only extremely popular artists or legends can usually pull off, and yet the crowd was begging for more once the lights ascended after finale “Your Time.”
During verses of “Why Am I The One” early in Fun.’s set, it was clear to see that the band may have considered live performance to be a part of their recording process, gearing songs toward a chant-like sound so that audiences could sing along with great intensity.
Perhaps it was just a convenience that the band’s work is perfect for live crowds, but it wasn’t anything worth complaining about. It really worked for them.
But how does an audience know the band’s awe is sincere? Do they tell the crowds the same story every night? Just like Taylor Swift’s “OMG” face at every awards ceremony, after a certain point, America catches on. Well, it wasn’t necessarily what Ruess said that spoke volumes. Not only was his dialogue cut short many times because of the cheers from the crowd, but the audience’s energy actually moved him to tears near the end of the night following the bridge of “Take Your Time” before the show’s end.
Another great moment happened, perhaps in the show’s peak midset, when Ruess dedicated “The Gambler” to his uncle, who was in the audience. He explained that his uncle was one of the few who believed in him as a vocalist early on. The song, stripped of percussion, bass and the second pianist, sounded special, genuine and emotional like it had never before. It wasn’t long before one could realize that every song was performed with the extra ounce of dedication. Maybe it was the venue, maybe it was the chart-topping status and maybe it was just Saturday. Regardless, it was one to be remembered.
See exclusive photos of Fun. at The Vic Theatre here.
Fun. at The Vic Theatre on April 14, 2012 setlist:
- “One Foot”
- “Walking the Dog”
- “Why Am I the One”
- “All Alone”
- “All the Pretty Girls”
- “Carry On”
- “The Gambler” (Kenny Rogers cover)
- “Be Calm”
- “At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used to Be)”
- “We Are Young”
- “Some Nights”
- “Take Your Time (Coming Home)”
- “All Alright”