CONCERT REVIEW: FUN. at THE LC PAVILLION COLUMBUS, OH 7/14/13…

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Fun’s show at the LC last night was nothing short of magical. Despite the elements, which included sweltering humid heat, standing in a line for 45 minutes past the “doors open” time, and finding out that the show was moved to the LC’s parking lot instead of the amphitheater style stage I’ve come to love. Despite the fact some of my friends couldn’t be there with me that had planned to go. And despite not being able to see over head to see the stage thanks to staging the show in a parking lot on a not too high stage. Luckily the show was set up with big screens as well. And completely unexpected, the sound was excellent. Most shows set up like this have horrible sound acoustics. But both Fun. and openers Tegan and Sara were crystal clear.
Let me talk about Tegan and Sara first for a moment. I’m mostly a newcomer to the group. I know a scattering of their older songs like “Walking With A Ghost” and “Back In Your Head” but wasn’t really *into* them until picking up the new Heartthrob cd. The ladies, along with their band perform with such energy and are so genuine. I am now a much bigger fan for having seen them. They played at least half of the new album including “Shock To Your System”, “Closer”, and a few older songs, of which I knew “Alligator” and “Back In Your Head”. Excellent show and I will definitely want to see them again.
Then the main course. Fun. took the stage in their tuxes and started the show with “Some Nights Intro”. I was so happy to see the three guys doing this as I’m not sure they had been on previous shows before this summer, and it’s chilling to hear Nate Ruess hit the insane loud notes in the song. Then after everyone was at full attention, the band ditched the tuxes and ripped full force into “One Foot”, which I must say sounds better live.
The band did a great job of balancing songs from the first album Aim and Ignite, which is personal to them and the older fans, and Some Nights, their breakthrough. They got a great reception to “Walking the Dog”, but then went into “Why Am I The One” and “It Gets Better”. The latter is much better as a live song in my opinion than on the album. They also played two of their older favorites, the ELO-esque “All the Pretty Girls” and “At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)”. Sure a few newer fans got a little restless. But for the most part the band’s intense energy kept the audience with them and engaged and singing along.
Then we got to “Carry On”. There are some songs that are just magical to hear a huge crowd of people singing along with, and this is one of those songs. you could also tell this was one of the songs where Nate truly lost himself in the moment. he sang the song so powerfully and beautifully and had the biggest smile on his face at the big crescendo. After that the band took us back to “Barlights”, which is a song not everyone knows but was obviously a band favorite. By the time Nate got to the singalong part “I….feel alive!” the whole crowd vibe was lifted up.
I might be mixing up the order by a song or two, by when “We Are Young” started of course the energy in the crowd peaked back up again. And even though this song is kind of the overplayed one, Fun. continues to add slight little twists to the song each time they play it so it feels fresh. After that adrenaline spike came one of my absolute favorites, “The Gambler”, a delicate love song about the story of Nate Ruess’s mom and dad. During the song there was a commotion and cheering behind us. A couple had proposed to the song. Awwwwwww!
Then it was cover time. The band launched into a beautiful rendition of The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always get What You Want” that became a huge uplifting singalong. With Andrew on the flugelhorn he now plays. Somewhere in there the band stopped for a bit to talk about their day hanging out in Columbus, that Nate bought a scooter and scooted, or as he said “past tense would be scot, right?” and also a bit about Andrew now playing a flugelhorn. It was the perfect touch to this song. Then the last big song of the main set was the Aim & Ignite closer “Take Your Time(Coming Home)”. Again a song you can tell means a lot to the band and they put everything into it.
Then after a short break the band came back with the big song that put it over the top, “Some Nights”. Of extreme note here is that they did not drop tune the song. On most TV performances I’ve noticed that this and sometimes “Carry On” are dropped down a bit to save Nate’s voice. Not here. There was so much energy pulsing through the crowd and the band that it carried Nate to easily hit the powerful notes (with the exception of the “terrible nights” line, which I’m pretty sure would make his head explode to actually sing the way they do the autotune/vocoder effect). But noticing they did have a mic vocoder I got hopeful they would do one more. Would they? YES! They blended the comedown of “Some Nights” into “Stars”.
I know “Stars” is a love it or hate it song because of the effects in it. But I think it’s a gorgeous song. Even more so as a singalong. During that song all the elements aligned and it was a true goosebumps moment. I never wanted it to end. Apparently the band didn’t either. Even after the song would normally end, Nate said a few things about how magical a night it was, that they would always come back to Columbus, and that they are going away to work on a new album once the tour wraps up. Then he did some adlibbing and an extended ending to the song to send the show out on. Absolutely stunning. If the band is coming to play near you do yourself a favor and go them. It’s truly something to see and hear.

The setlist:
Some Nights Intro
One Foot
All Alone
Walking The Dog
It Gets Better
Why Am I The One
At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)
All The Pretty Girls
Carry On
Barlights
We Are Young
The Gambler
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Take Your Time (Coming Home)

encore:
Some Nights
Stars

and here is some footage a fan shot of “Stars”:

(pics above courtesy of Fun.’s Facebook page)

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