He looks like a refugee from a 1980s boy band and he sings indie rock mixed with Broadway musicals and his big break came when "Glee" performed one of his band fun. songs. And "Light A Candle With Me" should be an an outtake from "Rent".
Plus, at T5 on Saturday night, the man is literally jumping for joy as the sold out room filled with teen to 20 something girls sang to, sure "We Are Young", but also EVERYTHING ELSE. EVERY WORD. RELENTLESSLY! Overnight sensation at 30 years old, Nate has spent the year watching fun. sell out room after room and, probably, wondering how the hell the dance rock band's ode to failure, Some Night, became a feel good ode.
At T5, Nate can't connect the dots between his songs and his fans and he doesn't bother trying to. Letting them singalong, lettting them change the frankly manic depressive encore "One Foot", "I don't need a new love or a new life, just a new place to die…" is how the song goes and though the song, especially live, is a march stomping song,, it goes from suicide to a riot of a shared bliss out, as if the teens had added something Nate had left out: every death implies a rebirth.
Earlier, the unequivocable dust it off and get on with it "Carry On", comes across as a Queen like championshio and a new paradign for lowered expectations. Nate is popping off his feet and guitarist Andrew Dost is a whirligig of movement and excitement, there is so much excitement it is hard to know who is heading of whom, Andrew and drummer Jack Antonoff co-wrote the songs and it is easily to lose track of this not being Nate at the boys.
The band themselves are part of the Fueled By Ramen crowd, their first tour was with Jack's Mannequin and they got their first big shot opening for Paramore. fun's sound has been compared to Panic At The Disco, but Panic took a sharp left into Beatley psychedelia and fun turned right into big sound chorus and Broadway musicals (Nate's Uncle is a Broadway vet). On record the point of fun is they sound like they are having it but they also have a weariness about them: sick of waiting for a future that never arrives, Nate invokes his Daddy struggling all his life and Nate accepts that fate. But from a second song segue into a floor bouncing "Some Nights" with streamers being shot over the audience and onwards, what we are being told is not what we are seeing. They may be one hit wonders but their first album, Arm And Ignite, is just about its equal, and gave us "All The Pretty Girls" and "Light A Candle With Me", both played tonight. Both pretty great.
Surprisingly enough, fun. manage to give their dance, rock, Broadway mash up shadings on stage: it might be a tear away but when Nate wants quiet he isn't afraid to ask for it.
Around two thirds of the way through, the pace slows but that is the only lull of the evening. fun. are at the height of their first time at the rodeo big time rock and beats band and both the audience and the band are light headed with pleasure, it is a heady joy. The penultimate song of the evening is a breathless "You Can't Always Get What You Want" with a lovely horn intro substituting for the choir. It is aptly enough as fun get what they want and need. And they aren't even gay.