Words and Pictures by Allison Taich
For months Chicago indie pop fans have been anticipating the arrival of fun.--the band that is--who played a colorful, energetic set to a sold-out crowd at Schubas last Thursday night. Apparently the show had sold-out in a mere five days, a month prior to fun.’s debut release Aim and Ignite. The evening started strong with Phoenix-based openers Miniature Tigers, but one could tell the audience was holding back for the main event.
fun. started their set dramatically, with dimmed house lights and background music in the air. The crowd, growing restless, began to eagerly scream and clap. After a moment of suspense the emergency door opened, the band emerged, filed into the venue, and onto the stage.
In attendance was Nate Ruess (lead vocals) and Andrew Dost (keyboard and horn), accompanied by three supporting musicians, and a substitute drummer for band mate Jack Antonoff. Once Ruess hit the stage he shushed the room; the audience fell silent, the stage lights shined on Ruess, and the band started their set with “At Least I’m Not as Sad (As I Used to Be).” The entire room broke into a sing-a-long almost instantly, a theme that lasted for the duration of their set.
As the show went on the energy and enthusiasm in the room never ceased; each song brought a surge of excitement to the audience. The band was equally, and visibly, pumped, it being their first time playing in Chicago and receiving such a warm welcome and all. Ruess expressed his gratitude several times between tunes, further exciting the crowd. The band played their entire new album, including songs by The Format (Ruess’ previous band), and an acoustic number, “The Gambler,” which Ruess dedicated to his father, who was present and manning the merch booth.
fun.’s sound was lighthearted and poppy, filled with lyrics on predictable themes like love, life, and youth. Though Schubas is standing room only, there was an overwhelming "standing" ovation by the end of the performance. Naturally an encore followed suit, with an acoustic version of The Format’s “Shoe Doesn’t Get It.”
1. At Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)
2. I Wanna Be The One
3. All The Pretty Girls
4. Light A Roman Candle With Me
5. Walking The Dog
6. The First Single (The Format)
8. The Gambler
9. Be Calm
10. Benson Hedges
11. She Doesn\'t Get It - acoustic (The Format)
12. Take Your Time (Coming Home)