Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 2/12
support Walk The Moon
author TL date 27/09/12 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN
Trying to squeeze three gigs into three work days was always going to be a slightly daunting endeavour, so I guess it shouldn't have been surprising to me that I eventually ran into some trouble. Such trouble realised itself on the evening of the Fun concert in Vega, where I got stuck at work and couldn't leave the office before 9 o'clock, which meant that not only did I miss the support Walk The Moon, I ended up missing the first half of Fun's set as well. Shitty circumstances to base a review on I know, but ones entirely beyond my control, so please bear with me if the following observations sound marked by my day of stress and my limited time at the show.
As I rush the stairs up to Vega's larger concert room and join my friend Hanna in the middle of the room, Fun have just finished "It Gets Better" and are playing "Barlights" to a relatively calm audience. I learn from Hanna that this is sort of a lull in the show, as people have actually received even "All The Pretty Girls" from Fun's pre-breakthrough album "Aim and Ignite" with loud enthusiasm. This is a positive surprise, as I must admit to having expected a lot of people showing up only to hear the (in)famous "We Are Young", yet while most of the crowd seems in high spirits, dancing and singing along to parts they know, few enough seem to recognise the cover of Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard". Regardless, the bandmembers on stage appear all casual smiles, as frontman Nate Reuss moves about the stage, doing a fine job of reaching up for his highest parts unaided by any audible digital correction, yet losing breath during some of the more fast-paced, word-sy verses.
The main thing is though, that with decent light, a good sound and a band that looks happy on stage, tonight's audience does indeed look like they're having fun, which also seems to be the main goal of the performance. Things are kept light hearted at all times, which I guess is sort of the point with a band named like this, yet I admit that I lament how the emotional gravity of a song like "The Gambler" (which is about Reuss' recently deceased mother) is not underscored a little more in the live arrangements, as I think a glimpse into Fun's sorrows would only make their otherwise bubbly enthusiasm all the more compelling. Such a capacity however, is something Fun might develop later in their career. For now they are a refreshingly real proposition for those that like poppy melodies, proven by faithfully many of their catchy melodies are sung back at them tonight.
Speaking of singalongs, you can probably easily imagine how ridiculously loud Vega gets when radio-mega-hit "We Are Young" appears as the set draws near its close. Obviously everybody knows the song and obviously everybody is singing along with smiles on their faces. The lack in the majority of the audience's musical lore becomes evident once more though, as "We Are Young" is followed by Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want", which goes down well enough, yet fails to generate quite the response it deserves, partly I guess because some people here don't know it, and partly because Fun, while they do a solid cover, do not quite manage to get anything special out of a song that's otherwise pretty damn special originally. All is forgiven of course, as the band leaves to soon return for a predictable encore performance of "Some Nights", which deservedly garners a big response comparable to that of "We Are Young". The prevailing mood in the venue as it empties then, is one of satisfaction, which is only fair, considering the solid, yet relatively safe performance put on by Fun tonight.