Crowds at Champions Square to fuel pop trio
“Some Nights,” the second album from New York City’s fun., and the trio’s hit singles “We Are Young,” “Some Nights” and “Carry On,” won massive popularity for the group, which will be at Champions Square in New Orleans Thursday, Oct. 24.
After music sales in the millions and Grammy Awards for best new artist and song of the year (“We Are Young”), fun. launched its “Most Nights” summer tour earlier this year, the biggest in the band’s five-year career.
“It has been my favorite tour ever,” fun. member Jack Antonoff said last week before a show in Raleigh, N.C.
Fun. in Champions Square follows earlier shows this year in such famous venues as the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver.
“Being in really iconic spaces like that brings us nearer to playing the kinds of shows that we grew up hearing about,” Antonoff said. “It makes us want to play on that level.”
His group’s uplifting pop anthems, Antonoff added, are fueled by the massive crowd response found in a big space like Champions Square.
“It doesn’t feel right if we don’t get a reaction that’s epic and over the top,” he said. “The songs are not structured in a way, musically and lyrically, that lets us perform them at different levels of energy or emotion. They’re either full on or they’re not happening.
“Lucky for us,” he added, “our audience knows what we are and what we need. So it’s very rare that we’re not making that connection.”
Fun.’s enormously popular 2012 hit, “We Are Young,” topped the Billboard 100 for weeks and broke digital sales records. Antonoff and his bandmates, Nate Ruess and Andrew Dost, were initially overwhelmed by their success.
“When the album and singles first started selling like crazy, I was like, ‘Oh, my God. We’re in this new stratosphere,’ ” Antonoff recalled.
“But then it’s the same thing we’ve been doing, just bigger. If we’re playing in front of thousands of people or hundreds of people, it’s the same goal. We’re there to put on a great show and create a really transcendent experience.
“We’ve made, I think, a world for our fans where it’s not about a song or two songs. It’s about a whole culture.”
Canadian pop-duo Tegan and Sara joined fun. on tour for most of 2013. Tegan Quin cited fun.’s success as an example of pop radio’s willingness in recent years to program intelligent pop music.
“I’d rather be intelligent pop,” Antonoff said, “and own that title than be some sort of apologetic pop or not even admit that we’re pop. Pop radio is huge. It has the ability to affect culture and affect change in music. If bands like us and Tegan and Sara can exist in the mainstream, that’s truly good for music.
“I don’t want to be in a tiny little corner of the music world, where we’re just doing our own thing and have a cult audience. I want to hear the music on the radio. I think we all do.”