fun. Warehouse Live March 20, 2012
"Sing it at the top of your lungs," fun. front man and vocalist Nate Ruess told the crowd Tuesday night, "Like it means something."
As the crowd chanted "Na-na-na" over and over, Ruess sang, "Carry me home tonight" repeatedly while fans hands reached high, waving their hands back and forth in the air, breaking through the beams of light that were shining from the stage as they reached toward the ceiling.
"Carry me home tonight," he pleaded. "Just carry me home tonight."
Despite what may seem like overnight success, fun. aren't exactly newcomers to the music scene. Until 2008, Ruess was a member of The Format, which has taken what looks to be a permanent hiatus in light of his new band's achievements.
Two albums, one Chevy commercial and a very infectious anthem about the impulsiveness of youth later, and fun. had themselves a sold-out Warehouse Live, one that was full of young Houstonians eager to sing along.
And we can only assume that Monday night was not the only sold-out venue on their tour lineup, either.
Aftermath hesitates to call fun.'s music "indie" - after a sold-out show at a large venue and having been featured in a major commercial, it's a bit of a stretch -- but their music reminds us a lot of Foster the People's.
Like FTP, fun.'s music is catchy and upbeat, but the nuances are dark, and plenty of the songs are about loneliness. On first listen, "We Are Young" sounds like it's supporting the reckless behavior of youth. The melody sure gives it that kind of feel.
But give it more than a once-over, really digest the lyrics, and what you're left with is a song about a man who seems to have beaten his girlfriend, is hoping to make amends and is left trying to console her at a seedy bar whenever their friends aren't around.
At least, that's our interpretation.
This kind of music is one of our favorites. Having grown up on Third Eye Blind, we welcome serious lyricism with easygoing music at its core. It all bears some resemblance to Alphaville's "Forever Young," the kind of music that makes you want to dance, sometimes slowly, while the singer gets some heavy shit off his chest.
The whole night wasn't completely somber, though. Plenty of couples shared smiles while friends drank with their arms draped around each others' shoulders, swaying back and forth to the music.
And fun. seemed genuinely thankful for their fans; they expressed their gratitude plenty of times throughout the show and even shared an anecdote about a crayfish and how it had become one of their groupies.
Right now, fun. are No. 1 on iTunes, and had you told us, 20 years ago, that a Macintosh-made music distributing software would be the best barometer with which to judge the success of a band, we'd probably assume you were high. Which, in all fairness, you probably were.
But at least Ruess is not as sad as he used to be. These days, his time is filled with drinking, smoking and singing. And, judging from the cheerful music his bandmates play, it can't be all that bad.
Personal Bias: Our friend turned us onto this group a few weeks ago. We haven't copped their album yet, but as soon as payday rolls around...
Overheard in the Crowd: "How many of these people drive a Chevy?"
Random Notebook Dump: We couldn't help but smile when Ruess asked the crowd, "What is today, Tuesday?" This is rock and roll, baby!
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.