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