Friday, October 22, 2010

Fun & Steel Train at The Media Club

Fun, one of Silence Killer's most-hyped bands since we were one of the first to write about them in early 2009, finally brought their show to Vancouver last night. We said they were “about to be New York's latest indie pop sensation” and they've come a lot further than that in the past year and a half. Last winter they toured with Jack's Mannequin, then in spring with Paramore and Relient K. Now they're on their first headlining tour, with 9 dates left in North America before they head to the UK for 9 dates with Paramore and B.o.B, then back home for 11 more dates starting in New York.

The show really began with the opening act, New Jersey indie rock band Steel Train. I had no idea who they were, but within a few songs, the audience was having so much fun, I thought they might upstage the headliners. As it turns out, Steel Train's frontman Jack Antonoff is also Fun's guitarist. Earlier, I was wondering why the DJ had been playing Yo Gabba Gabba's “Party In My Tummy!” and one of the roadies was wearing their t-shirt. It turns out, Steel Train wrote Yo Gabba Gabba's song “It's Fun to Dance”, which they played for us, pushing the crowd over the edge of insanity.

Fun finally took the stage while everyone was calming down, driving the crowd back into an uproar with the song that caught everyone's attention in the first place—“At Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used to Be)”. I love when a band plays their best song first. Saving it for later makes you look less than confident in the rest of your music, whereas opening with your best jumpstarts the crowd's excitement, which usually lasts til the end.

Fun's lead singer, Nate Ruess, has an amusing habit of lengthening the interludes in their songs so he can banter on a bit and hype up the audience for the climax of the song. Later in their set, he mentioned his appallingly patchy excuse for a beard, which I had noticed earlier, giggling to myself. “It looks like cockroach legs, growing out of my face,” he quipped, “I feel like I'm in Iron & Wine, but I'm no better than Justin Bieber!”

My favourite part of going to concerts is watching a band with fantastic showmanship. Steel Train did a great job of that, but Fun really takes the cake. They were wild, crazy and entertaining, joking with each other between songs and timing all the breaks and pauses in their songs perfectly to keep the audience in rapt attention. Nate addressed their almost overuse of unexpected interludes near the end of the show, saying, “I'm the king of anticlimaxes.” An audience member quickly said something back, and Nate laughed and replied, “Yes, that is what she said.”

When Fun left the stage, the crowd was almost too exhausted to continue cheering, but we managed to earn a one-song encore, the teasingly dramatic opening song off their album, “Be Calm”. As already mentioned, Fun still has 18 North American dates with Steel Train and 11 UK dates left, so don't miss them! It's the most fun you could possibly hope to have with a band called Fun!

fun. - All the Pretty Girls (YSI)
Steel Train - Turnpike Ghost (YSI)

Previously on Silence Killer
Fun - Walking the Dog
Fun - At Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used to Be)


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