Fun. @ HMV Institute, Birmingham – Thursday October 4th, 2012

Tonight’s Fun show is sold out, no surprise really as those chart bothering New Yorkers have had one hell of a year. The show has been upgraded to the biggest room of the Institute after huge demand for tickets and they prove why with a killer live show. The last time this band were in Birmingham they were supporting label buddies Paramore, tonight’s its all about them though and the 2000 fans are well up for a night of huge pop-rock songs with massive choruses.

Ohio’s Walk the Moon are up first and their quirky indie-pop-rock sets the tone perfectly for tonight’s proceedings. To be honest I’d never heard of these guys before but I was suitably impressed, their catchy tunes twisted with some electronica may have been a tad cheesy but they still sounded pretty good. They managed to win the crowd over pretty quickly with the set highlight being ‘Anna Sun’ which was sung back by the majority of the crowd. All in all a good set which definitely lifted my mood on this dreary autumnal evening.

I have to say Fun are definitely a guilty pleasure of mine and are about as close as listening to pop as I get, with their latest album ‘Some Nights’ charting highly and with two huge singles off that record I was pleasantly surprised to see such a varied demographic at the show tonight. Cynical me thought it would be mainly a bunch of teenage girls but this wasn’t the case which shows if you write infectious pop music like Nate Ruess and co. do then your audience is going to be pretty varied which is always good to see.

Fun may advertise themselves as a 3 piece but they’ve recruited a few extra members for the their live shows which gives their songs even more punch. Opening with the huge ‘Carry On’ their songs take on a whole other level live as Nate  gets the crowd singing along from the get go. To say Nate has one hell of a voice is a true understatement as it rings out across the venue never faltering even on the higher notes. ‘One Foot’ off their latest album is definitely hip hop influenced with its strong beat, which is followed by the Queen-influenced ‘All the pretty girls’ off their first record.

It’s obvious Fun have many different musical influences and their songs are quite varied in their musical styles especially over the 2 albums but still manage to sound cohesive when played together. The set is a good mix of the 2 albums, the only song I didn’t really like was ‘It Gets Better’ I think that was just me though as the rest of crowd seemed to enjoy it. Nate’s obviously in his element as he jumps around the stage, his tongue playfully sticking out, and its almost like watching musical theatre.

The crowd have been pretty vocal up to this point but when the drums kick in for ‘We Are Young’ it goes to another level as the crowd sings along to every word and the rest seem to be enjoying themselves just as much on stage. Now there’s always a risk when you decide to throw in a cover this late into a set, it’s normally a sign that you don’t have enough material but Fun’s cover of the Rolling Stones ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ is pretty brilliant. They definitely add their own unique stamp to the classic, reworking it the way only a band like Fun could! It’s not over just yet though and with noise of 1000s of feet stamping the floor wanting more Fun make their way back to the stage for an encore of one of their most popular and anthemic songs, ‘Some Nights’. It’s one last chance for the band to shine and one last chance for the crowd to sing and they both make the most of it.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself tonight and I’m pretty sure everyone else at that show did too. It’s always refreshing to see bands living up to the hype and Fun did just that this evening.

Review: Hannah Sebestjanowicz

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