Close your eyes. Okay, no wait — open them because you need to keep reading — but close them in spirit. Now pretend fun. is not a band, but an amusement park. Just replace the guitar with a log flume and the percussion with a carousel. Now imagine the crowds lining up for a ride on fun.’s sophomore record, Some Nights.
The rollercoaster version of Some Nights follows the same path as the album version: colorful on the outside, deeper than you had imagined in the center, and so good it’ll make your head spin. Want to go again? “I had met Jack briefly once and thought he was kind of a douche,” says Nate Ruess of his first encounter with Jack Antonoff. They were 18 years old and going, separately, to punk rock shows in southern New Jersey.
Years later, Nate, who was the lead singer of The Format at the time and Jack, Steel Train’s front man, wound up on tour together. Impressions hadn’t changed much. “It was just like an, ‘Oh God, this guy,’ vibe from both of us right off the bat. But 24 hours into that tour, Nate and I became inseparable.” When The Format broke up, Nate’s first call was to Jack. Though not a “meet-cute” tale, it’s indicative of who fun. is as a band. You hear them and think, “Are they really going to pull off this sound, this arrangement, and create a moving, catchy, memorable rock song?” It’s become their signature.
So long as that signature has one last element: Nate’s second call was to Andrew Dost, the force behind all the literal bells and whistles of fun. “Andrew,” says Jack, “is one of those people who see the world like a giant art project. I can’t begin to tell you how vital he is in our band.” “My first impressions of them were both overwhelmingly positive,” says Andrew Dost, “I’ve heard they were….unsure of each other when they first met?”
fun. has not stopped living up to its name since their 2009 debut, Aim & Ignite. A year after the debut they were opening for Paramore on their headlining tour and performing at Coachella along with The Strokes and Jay-Z. Now they’ve teamed up with Janelle Monáe, a melodic collaboration on display in one of three videos for “We Are Young.” In addition, the TV series “Glee” just plucked “We Are Young” off Some Nights to cover on the show, an experience that meant the world to a band that prides itself on appealing to any demographic that might feel disenfranchised or just plain odd.
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