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Friday, September 29, 2023


Bringing Fun to Houston

Fun. - Cara Smith

Cara Smith/The Daily Cougar

Grammy Award-winning band Fun truly lived up to its name during its Sunday performance in Houston.

The modern rockers catered to a crowd of about 5,000 fans at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, and it could not have been a more eclectic congregation.

Their Grammy-nominated single “We Are Young” attracted those who could most relate to the song in a literal sense and who were subsequently chaperoned by one or more of their head-banging parents.

Fun’s non-profit organization, the Ally Coalition, promotes equality in the schools and workplaces for the LGBT community. The Pavilion was filled with Coalition volunteers encouraging attendees to learn more about their organization, and this brought a huge influx of Houston’s vibrant LGBT community to the show.

Add that to the massive amount of college-aged attendees, and there was a pretty diverse blending of people all gathered for an incredible show.

Tegan and Sara, the widely popular Canadian pop-rock duo, have been headlining the “Most Nights” tour with Fun but weren’t able to make it to the Houston leg of the tour.

Thankfully, Fun brought it, and they brought it hard.

The guys opened up with one of the most rambunctious tracks, “One Foot,” from their Grammy-nominated album, “Some Nights.” The track blasted out of the gates with swelling horns, invigorating percussion beats and an incredibly lively Nate Ruess sprinting on any free space the Pavilion’s stage had to offer.

He’s been compared by fans and critics alike to Queen’s own Freddie Mercury, and for good reason. He’s got an absolutely insane vocal range unseen in many of today’s musical acts. Ruess couldn’t have been more of a humble host on Sunday night, stopping to catch his breath in between nearly all songs and thank Houston for hosting Fun on a Sunday night.

“Now, I know we all have to go to work tomorrow, and we’re so happy you guys chose to let us hang out with you on a Sunday night,” Ruess said. “Let’s go to work a little hoarse tomorrow, yeah?”

The guys ripped through a massive set list from “Some Nights” and their freshman effort, “Aim & Ignite.” During the band’s performance of “We Are Young,” cell phones skyrocketed out of teens’ pockets and swayed slightly for the remainder of the performance.

Fun also performed the title track of “Some Nights,” a boisterous anthem distinguished by its hearty tribal percussion and weighty chants throughout the majority of the track.

During the performance of this song, guitarist Jack Antonoff kicked at the stage’s massive amplifiers and dove headfirst into the performance, strutting across the stage and completely shredding out. He got on his knees, got off his knees, walked, rooted himself to the ground and struggled to find the perfect way to physically manifest the passion he had for his music.

The vigor felt in Fun’s “Aim & Ignite” tracks, like the lovesick confessional “All The Pretty Girls,” brought the band back to their roots of being that weird, infectiously different indie band from the Big Apple. There were horns, keys, strings and a band that seemed to refuse accepting their international fame as something entirely deserved — and that was awesomely, refreshingly real.

“Ladies and gentleman,” Ruess said. “We are Fun!”

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