A “Fun” Night In Providence

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By Jocelyn Cote
Staff Writer

On Thursday night, frigid temperatures and the tail end of a snowstorm failed to stop a crowd of rambunctious fans of New York indie rockers fun. from lining up outside of Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in the heart of downtown Providence, Rhode Island.

Fun. have just begun their nationwide tour in support of their newest album, Some Nights, which was released on February 21st. The tour started in late February, and will take the band on the road through mid-June. They have recently received acclaim for the album’s first single “We Are Young,” which is quickly becoming a radio staple and drawing in many new fans eager to witness their music in concert.

As the doors to the venue were opened, dedicated fans who had been waiting for over an hour in the falling snow dashed to the barrier at the front of the stage. The entire floor was filled by the time the opening act, Sleeper Agent, arrived onstage.

Alex Kandel of Sleeper Agent

Fronted by Alex Kandel, Sleeper Agent hail from Bowling Green, Kentucky, and specialize in an upbeat, classic alternative rock sound. The band released their debut album, Celabrasion, in September 2011 and have been playing many shows as both an opening act and headliners since. Although some members of the audience seemed to consider their performance lackluster, others became very in-tune with the band’s ample energy.

Following Sleeper Agent’s departure, setup for fun.’s set took longer than usual, and in turn the crowd became even more impatient and riled up. Deafening roars of applause shook the venue when the stage lights finally went dark and fun. took the stage to a blaze of flashing strobes and LED screens.

The band opened with “Some Nights,” the title track from their album of the same name. Despite the song only being officially released for two weeks, many audience members were already belting each lyric straight back to lead singer Nate Ruess. The band was obviously surprised by the energy radiating from the crowd, and aligned their onstage antics accordingly.

The setlist featured an even combination of tracks from Some Nights and their fan-favorite debut album Aim and Ignite. One standout moment during the show was when Ruess announced to the crowd that they would be playing a track that they initially planned on skipping but simply could not overlook the overwhelming demand for. They then surged into a beautifully arranged acoustic version of “Be Calm,” the opening track from Aim and Ignite, to screams of delight from the audience.

fun. play to an enthusiastic crowd

The band closed their main set with “We Are Young” and “Carry On,” and left the stage with beaming smiles. After returning to the stage and playing “One Foot,” Ruess teased the crowd, asking them “One more song… or two more songs?” As a reward for the extreme enthusiasm from the audience, the band slipped in an originally unplanned rendition of “All Alright” to the setlist, and ended the show with their epic Aim and Ignite album closer “Take Your Time (Coming Home),” which clocked in at over eight minutes.

Altogether, fun. had an amazing amount of stage presence and theatrics that left every single person in the crowd awestruck. Everyone left the venue with grins on their faces, eagerly anticipating their next chance to see fun. live once again.

Fun. continues their spring tour through June, including a stop in Boston on April 21st at the House of Blues.

Author’s Note: To view more photos from this show, check out my photoset from the night on Flickr.

Created with flickr slideshow.