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