fun. concert lives up to its name

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The name of the band was displayed in yellow lights during the rendition of “We Are Young.”

The road to fame has not been smooth for indie band fun., but taking a look around the University of Central Florida (UCF) Arena on Sept. 19, it is clear that their moment in the sun has arrived. Seats at the Arena sold out for the night with people flocking to see Tegan and Sara, the opening act, and fun. The Catalyst was there for the evening of lights and loud music.

Fun. formed in 2008 when frontman Nate Ruess joined percussionist Andrew Dost and guitarist Jack Antonoff with the aim of creating theatrical songs and a distinct sound. Their first album, “Aim and Ignite,” was released in 2009, and sold only 75,000 copies. These days they have captured a number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 list and hold the record for top number of downloads for their hit song “We are Young.”

The Sept. 19 show was everything the band has built itself up to be – showy and energetic with moments of laughter and a few lulls of seriousness. From belting to crooning to letting auto-tune take over for a robot-like effect, the show exhibited the variety in fun.’s style.

At 8:00 p.m., concert-goers filtered in. Most of the crowd seemed to be between the ages of 12 and 25, though there were some older people present and dancing more vigorously than their preteen counterparts. For those of legal drinking age, beer was available right outside the seating area.

The music was loud, echoing the positive, feel-good songs for which the band is known. Throughout the night, Ruess often used instrumental breaks to tell the crowd to sing along, clap in time, or dance, even having the audience sing the entirety of the last stanza of “We are Young.”

Ruess’s voice impressively lasted the whole night of singing, a testament to his years of training as a singer. While it cracked during the rendition of “Some Nights,” the two straight hours of belting did not appear to take a toll. The only time he slowed down was for a brief moment of pumping up the crowd, asking if Orlando could show more energy than his last stop, Boca Raton.

The lights for the show cycled through every color of the rainbow, flashing different patterns for every song. Vivid reds gave way to purples, even sometimes flashing a star-like pattern on the large screen behind the band. The audience added to the brightness of the Arena, pulling out smartphones at every opportunity to take pictures.

Fun. will next be appearing in Charlottesville, VA., though that show is already sold out. If given the chance, seeing fun. is an incredibly high-energy and worthwhile experience. The band is entertaining and dynamic enough to justify a drive up to Orlando or Tampa.


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