fun. With Special Guest Tegan and Sara, Stage AE, 7/18

Written by 2pac40oz

Upbeat indie rockers fun. seemed to burst onto the scene out of nowhere.  I wondered how, with only one album of material, they would pull off a sold-out headlining concert.  The answer is that they played virtually every single song from Some Nights, and the crowd certainly didn't seem to mind.

This crowd was possibly the strangest crowd I've ever seen at a concert of this size.  We were sandwiched between a pair of twelve year olds that adorably made their own safety-yellow puffy paint shirts for the evening and a 20-something hipster gal that was so drunk by the time fun. took the stage that she threw up a few feet from us.  Everyone from stereotypical Hot Topic teens to the hippest of hipster tastemakers made it out to Stage AE.

Opening band Tegan and Sara made a lot of sense for fun. sonically, but had trouble connecting with the diverse crowd.  Their set was as skilled and high energy as you'd expect from a band with 10 years experience, but it was obvious most of the crowd had never really heard of the GLBT-friendly songbirds before.  The tiny sisters seemed dwarfed by the enormous stage, complete with looming, black-sheeted set pieces for fun.'s giant stage show in the background.  Even if the crowd wasn't into it, the band didn't seem to notice and put on a great show, playing songs from all throughout their career.  

Despite having most of their set pieces already on stage, towering over Tegan and Sara, fun. still took almost 45 minutes to change sets and get going.  Their set opened with the band wearing humorously impractical tuxedo jackets in the 90+ degree Pittsburgh heat and the roar of the patient crowd.  Since there's only one album of material to be framilliar with, the crowd had no trouble memorizing it and singing along.   Singer Nate Ruess was clearly born to be a pop star and charismatically led the evening with instructions to sing along, dance moves, and limitless energy.

What do you do when you don't have enough material to flush out a set list on your own?  Play covers!  And play covers they did. Ruess led the band in an impromptu jam session, covering Rob Thomas and Santana's summer anthem "Smooth".  Later they brought out Rolling Stone's "You Can't Always Get What You Want", which fell flat as most of the audience was probably both not old enough to know the source material and also too young to remember any of the car commercials that featured it.  

Overall fun. put on a great stage show.  The production value was incredible, with confetti cannons and a live videographer putting the band through hypercolor instagram-style filters and onto the onstage jumbotron.  The band seemed to have a great time with fun banter and energy that never once betrayed the fact that it was one of the hottest days of the summer and we were all hot, sweaty messes.  Even if they did seem to get a little to big a little too fast, fun. have a dedication to their craft that ensures they won't be going anywhere.  

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