Tag Archives: fun.


A Sunny Homecoming for Fun.

July 24th, 2013

Fun./Tegan and Sara – Hudson River Park Pier 26 – July 23, 2013

After winning a pair of Grammys earlier this year for Best New Artist and Song of the Year, fun. returned to their hometown, selling out two shows on Pier 26 at Hudson River Park. Although there were threats of thunderstorms last night, the band would have been fully prepared after their Grammy performance. In fact, the Quin sisters (aka Tegan and Sara) remarked how the crowd had danced through the rain the night before. But instead, the sun shone, set against the Hudson River as Nate Ruess, Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost took the stage in tuxes as they sweetly lulled onlookers with “Some Nights (Intro),”  then quickly stripped off their fancy duds for “One Foot” as a horn blared.

Getting down to business, Ruess ordered, “Clap your fucking hands. Let’s make the most of this weather.” The trio weaved seamlessly between their debut album, Aim and Ignite, and the chart-topping Some Nights. Keyboardist Emily Moore provided a sweet, childlike refrain on “At Least I’m Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)” as balloons slowly bounced across the audience. The first few chords of Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2” incited the crowd to join in before the band played through to “Barlights.” Saving the bests for last, “Carry On” had its anthemic chorus ringing all the way to New Jersey. Antonoff, a Garden State native, had cheers from his fellow Jerseyans on “The Gambler,” which Ruess had dedicated to the Antonoffs, who served as his family when he moved to New York City.

Of course (as if it needed mentioning), “We Are Young” was the fan favorite of the night, however, for me, the live rendition without Janelle Monáe’s lovely vocals was lacking that extra pop from the recorded version. After closing the set with “Some Nights,” the band returned to encore with a “new one” or rather a new cover of the native son, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” And as if that weren’t enough, Ruess offered a heartfelt thank you to New York, New Jersey and Brooklyn during the final song, “Stars.” Some Nights was written in all three, and the next album will be as well. These places have been good to them, and fun. certainly reciprocated on this homecoming. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com


The Specials Kick Off Eight Great Shows at Hudson River Park Pier 26

July 17th, 2013

By next summer Hudson River Park Pier 26, at North Moore Street in Tribeca, will be the home to an array of worthwhile things, like a restaurant, a boathouse and a dog run, but this summer Pier 26 hosts eight great outdoor shows, beginning tonight with the Specials (above, playing “Gangsters” at Glastonbury) and Little Hurricane. Fun. and Tegan and Sara follow next week with a pair of sold-out shows on Monday and Tuesday, and the Gaslight Anthem make two appearances, too—on 7/26 with the Bouncing Souls and 7/28 with the Hold Steady. OneRepublic, Mayer Hawthorne and Churchill take the stage on 8/10, and Passion Pit play on 9/6 and 9/7 (on sale Friday at noon). But it’s not only about the music. There will also be wine, exclusively from City Winery, and beer and food available on-site. Fight hot nights with cool music. Get outside!


Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See fun. on 7/23

July 16th, 2013


Next week, the incredibly popular local trio fun. play two very sold-out shows at Hudson River Park Pier 26, on Monday and Tuesday, and The House List is giving away two tickets to the second show. Don’t have tickets but still want to go? Then try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (fun., 7/23) and a brief message explaining why you’re excited this new venue. Eddie Bruiser, who’s pretty excited himself, will notify the winner by next Monday. Good luck.

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Boston’s Calling …

May 24th, 2013

While summer doesn’t technically start ’til June 21st, the summer season kicks off today, with the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. And what better way to do that with a music festival featuring a lineup that kicks all 11 kinds of ass over the course of two days and nights at the Boston Calling Music Festival. Tomorrow’s docket includes fun. (above, performing “Some Nights” on Saturday Night Live), the Shins, Marina and the Diamonds, Matt & Kim, Portugal. The Man, Cults, MS MR, St. Lucia and Bad Rabbits. Not to be outdone, Sunday features the National (below, doing “Bloodbuzz Ohio”), Of Monsters and Men, Young the Giant, Andrew Bird, Dirty Projectors, Ra Ra Riot, the Walkmen, Youth Lagoon and Caspian. Pretty great, right? So what are you waiting for? Head directly to Beantown and spend your weekend rocking out.




Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Take Another Step Forward

April 29th, 2013

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 26, 2013

The world of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. now operates on one law of nature and physics: If some is good, more is better. This wasn’t always the case for Dan Zott and Josh Epstein. Early on, they made their name wearing NASCAR racing suits and trafficking in Pet Sounds–era two-part harmonies. The first song on their debut EP, “Nothing but Our Love,” was sort of a simple offer compared to the bombast that’s begun creeping into their more recent work. Thus begins something of a second life with a new EP, the two-weeks-old Patterns: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. in an active and obvious evolution. Bubbles, cloth lanterns, enormous inflatable balls and human beings—the band sent spheres of all kinds into revolution if not outright orbit on Friday night at a very sold-out and frenetic Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. opened with a brief teaser of the “na-na-na” chorus of first-LP jam “An Ugly Person on a Movie Screen” before making the transition to open with the recent “Hiding,” an enormous slice of buzzing synth pop. With Zott rocking a side ponytail in his curly brown hair, and both members wearing matching paisley suits, the sounds owed themselves to the crossover of “We Are Young,” by fun., but the visual aesthetics were all LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” This was as exciting to the Warner Music contingent in the balcony as it was to the combustible fans on the floor. Dale Earnhardt. Jr. Jr. turned to play “Simple Girl,” a sweet little song from their first LP, It’s a Corporate World, before running through “Vocal Chords” and some new material, noting, “You’ll know this one,” prior to playing “Morning Thought.”

But, unquestionably, the moment of the evening occurred when the enormous inflatable white sphere that stood like an unpigmented sun above the stage was lit with projected animation, making a gigantic Lego-man face that sang along with the music. The face became 8-bit animation to go with the lyrics for “Skeletons,” a loop of the life cycle of a tiny pixelated man and woman. The song, about the twin impulses of forgetting and remembering the past, rang perfectly for the band on the cusp of something of a big next movement, the next turn, the lives of imagined selves and illuminated orbs set against the “skeletons buried in the backyard.” —Geoff Nelson

Congratulations to the Winners

February 11th, 2013

The Bowery Presents extends warm congratulations to every 2013 Grammy winner (and nominee). And if you take a look at those who took home awards, it’s like a who’s who list of acts that have recently played our venues, including:

the Black Keys: Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Album
Gotye: Record of the Year (featuring Kimbra), Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (featuring Kimbra), Best Alternative Music Album
fun.: Song of the Year (featuring Janelle Monáe), Best New Artist
Skrillex (featuring Sirah): Best Dance Recording, Best Dance/Electronica Album
Frank Ocean: Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (Kanye West and Jay-Z featuring Frank Ocean and the-Dream)
Mumford & Sons
: Album of the Year
Adele: Best Solo Pop Performance
Bonnie Raitt: Best Americana Album
Dan Auerbach: Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Miguel: Best R&B Song
Kelly Clarkson: Best Pop Vocal Album
the Civil Wars (and Taylor Swift): Best Song Written for Visual Media
Halestorm: Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance



Hot Town Summer in the City

February 7th, 2013

(Photo: Lindsey Byrnes)

One of the joys of summer in New York City is seeing an outdoor concert. Last summer, The Bowery Presents produced more than 20 NYC–area outdoor shows in Central Park, Prospect Park, Pier A in Hoboken, N.J., and Hudson River Park’s Pier 63. And this coming summer, we’re again teaming up with Hudson River Park at the brand new—and very accessible—Pier 26 in Tribeca for at least eight outdoor shows, with food and concessions available on-site. “This is the best of both worlds, great music and a great outdoor setting,” says Madelyn Wils, President and CEO of Hudson River Park. “We are excited to build on this successful partnership with The Bowery Presents and give New Yorkers even more opportunities to enjoy Hudson River Park.” We’ve already announced two dates with fun. and Tegan and Sara on 7/22 and 7/23. But be sure to be on the lookout for more great announcements. And, once again, New York City concertgoers will be able to fight hot nights with cool music.


Fun. – Radio City Music Hall – February 2, 2013

February 4th, 2013

Photos courtesy of Hilary J. Corts | www.hilaryjcorts.com


Steel Train Say Good-bye

January 7th, 2013

Steel Train – The Bowery Ballroom – January 5, 2013

It had been well over a year since Steel Train had played a show, so the buzz of anticipation was high heading into their show at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night. Add the fact that lead singer Jack Antonoff labeled these two weekend shows (they played the night before in New Jersey) as their last ones for good, and that buzz grew even higher. Some fans flew in from distant places, while others waited more than 10 hours in the cold to make sure they were the last ones pressed against the stage.

Farewell shows often border on an unbearable amount of self-congratulations and overwhelming nostalgia, without a lot of actual music. But Antonoff and his crew kept things focused. Right off the bat, Steel Train played one of their most successful songs, “Bullet,” followed by a few other fan favorites, like “Turnpike Ghost” and “Kill Monsters in the Rain,” before the first of the night’s two guests—Jack’s sister, designer Rachel Antonoff—came onstage to sing on “Dakota.” (Their father joined in on guitar at the end of the set on “Firecracker.”)

Since the farewell fanfare was at a minimum, the show’s more emotional moments stood taller and punctuated the beautiful night. The first of these instances occurred when the band huddled around Antonoff’s microphone for the nearly a cappella version of “Road Song,” written when they were still inching across the country on poorly booked tours. And another came as the encore began, when Steel Train simply let loose during “Black Eye” and “S.O.G. Burning in Hell,” jamming for their fans one last time. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com


And Still They Rise

June 18th, 2012

Fun. – Terminal 5 – June 16, 2012

When even a venue’s usually stoic, focused-on-their-job security guards remark on a band’s meteoric rise, it’s a pretty good sign of how big a deal that band’s become. Thanks to the chart-topping, record-breaking megahit “We Are Young,” fun. has become as well known as possible these days—and, as this past weekend’s pair of sold-out shows at Terminal 5 proved, this rise has brought on fame and expectations.

Previously, the group has tried all sorts of ways to up the ante when playing live, like wild LED light shows, live electronic vocal effects and even string quartets. But on Saturday night, the members of fun. drew on different experiences from their previous bands to match their now bigger sound. Faced with a newly increasing exposure, the six-piece reworked their live show, making it simpler but wildly energized. They fired off track after track from Some Nights, starting the show with the album’s wonderful opener of the same name. Lead singer Nate Ruess leaped around the stage while belting out his unmistakable falsetto, and he kept up the energy with anthemic songs like “Carry On” and bouncier tracks like “All Alone.”

But what was truly heartening was that the venue wasn’t just filled with “We Are Young” fans. Songs from the band’s equally impressive debut, Aim and Ignite, were met with just as much fanfare, and fun. rewarded the crowd for that by unleashing a blizzard of confetti during “Barlights.” It’s been a long road, collectively and individually, to get this far, but if these two nights at Terminal 5 were any indication, the future path for fun. will be filled with bigger venues to play and more fans to please. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com


Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See fun. on 6/16

June 12th, 2012


Fun. plays two hometown shows this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday at Terminal 5. And because the band’s music is like its name, both shows sold out in advance. And that’s where this story would end if it weren’t for the fact that The House List is giving away two tickets to Saturday’s show. So if you’d still like to go, try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (fun., 6/16) and a brief message explaining why you deserve free tickets on the last Saturday of spring. Eddie Bruiser, who’s already looking forward to summer, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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Who Wants to Have Fun?

November 10th, 2011

Fun. – The Bowery Ballroom – November 9, 2011

(Photo: Sean O’Kane)

It wasn’t so long ago that fun. was struggling to make its place in the music scene, playing shows to mixed reactions, settling into New York City as a new home and working around sharing its members with other bands while pushing out a debut album, Aim & Ignite. But last night’s show at The Bowery Ballroom made it seem like those harder times never happened, as the band played to a sold-out room filled with wild, loud and passionate fans who look like they’ve been around for years.

Lead singer Nate Ruess said early on that this would be “one of those perfect nights” right before a scheduled album release where they could have a good time while trying out some of the new material, and he was totally right. Alongside the songs that everyone already knows, the band tried out a few from that forthcoming album (entitled Some Nights, due out in February), all of which already have a glistening polish on them, and ranged from string-backed (there was a three-piece section on stage) slower songs to horn-filled dance-party tracks.

The fans should hope the band sticks with the five-piece core configuration that was onstage, because this was the best fun. has sounded yet, something that was exceptionally noticeable on the older songs. “Barlights” was played midset but with an encore-worthy level of energy from both Ruess and the crowd. And “Take Your Time,” an equally boisterous song, also provided the most moving moments of the night, when Ruess smiled through a long pause before the lyrics “now I feel like I am home.” The crowd cheered, the song picked up again, and fun. finished off one of its best shows yet, perhaps marking the end of the beginning and certainly showing that this band is here to stay. —Sean O’Kane


Fueled by Ramen Celebrates the First Night of Its 15th Anniversary

September 8th, 2011

Fueled by Ramen – Terminal 5 – September 7, 2011

Although it started in humble beginnings in 1996 by Less Than Jake’s drummer, Vinnie Fiorello, and a business partner, over the last 15 years, Fueled by Ramen has turned into a pop-punk and emo powerhouse of a label, releasing debut records for many great bands that have since gone by the wayside, as well as some of the genre’s most current recognizable faces. Night one of the celebration This Providence, the Swellers, the Stereo, fun. and headliners Paramore.

Both the Swellers and the Stereo had one of the harder tasks of the night—filling the large Terminal 5 stage with their four-man lineups. The Swellers did exceptionally well, led by guitarist Ryan Collins scissor-kicking and jumping as the band played a set of modern pop-punk gems that included “Fire Away” and “2009” from their acclaimed FBR debut, Ups and Downsizing, and “The Damage” and “The Best I Ever Had” from this year’s album, Good for Me. The Stereo, one of FBR’s pop-punk bands from yesteryear, broke up in 2004, and although last night’s young crowd didn’t seem to know such songs as “She Would Never,” “Tell Your Football Dad,” “1994” and “You’ve Got Some Nerve,” one industry vet looked like he was having the time of his life as he danced and sang along onstage to set-closer “New Tokyo.”

Paramore is the current poster child for FBR, having had both 2007’s Riot! and 2009’s Brand New Eyes blast onto the Billboard charts. Although the band went through some turmoil earlier this year, losing two founding members, such a glitch wasn’t even noticeable as the group played through its hits, with the pint-sized firecracker Haley Williams running the show. Paramore closed its set with “Misery Business,” Riot!’s superpunky, stellar first single that instigated the band’s success. —Kirsten Housel

Photos courtesy of Lauren Glucksman | www.getglucky.com

(Don’t miss the second night of Fueled by Ramen’s 15th anniversary when Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, The Academy Is…, A Rocket to the Moon and VersaEmerge play Terminal 5 on Friday night.)


Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Fun. on 11/27

November 23rd, 2010


Thanksgiving draws near, which means you’ll soon be in a turkey-induced food coma. So how will you shake the tryptophan blues this weekend? By trying to Grow a Pair of tickets from The House List to see Fun. play Webster Hall on Saturday. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, including your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Fun., 11/27) and a brief message explaining your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. Eddie Bruiser, who’s partial to dark meat and stuffing, will notify the winner tomorrow. Good luck!

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Young Band Thrills Mercury Lounge

September 18th, 2009

fun. – Mercury Lounge – September 17, 2009

fun. - Mercury Lounge - September 17, 2009
At times it’s easy to recognize when a New York City show will be good just by taking the audience’s temperature. And last night at Mercury Lounge a feverish buzz ran through the crowd while the opening bands played. Add to that the appearance of tri-state-area indie rockers like New Jersey’s Clark Westfield, of the Gay Blades, and Brooklyn’s Kevin Devine, and it was clear that the headliner, fun., was going to pull off something special.

To make the obvious pun about the group’s name is to do a disservice at this point. Fun. filled the venue with anticipation and passion-filled fans, an impressive feat for a band that’s just a year old. Their hour-long set bested their prior NYC appearances, and songs that fell flat in previous performances now had polish and life to them. Nate Ruess’s poppy Mick Jagger-like stage presence was captivating, while his bandmates executed amazingly tight music to accompany him. Although the crowd received the encore they’d screamed for, they were still disappointed when even that ended. And for once, the point in the evening where Ruess reached into his bag of Format songs became a footnote, not the highlight. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com