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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 6 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 36
Now that was fun. Dynamic double bill fires up Key Arena
Arts & Entertainment
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Now that was fun. Dynamic double bill fires up Key Arena

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

FUN. & TEGAN AND SARA
BUMBERSHOOT/KEY ARENA
September 1


Not that I was expecting subpar performances from either fun. or Tegan and Sara last weekend at Key Arena, but to my surprise both acts exceeded my expectations with exuberant, well-assembled sets. The two musical acts had been on tour together for weeks (fun. being the headliner) before their appearance at Bumbershoot.

Tegan and Sara kicked things off with an hour of tunes from various albums, including this year's Heartthrob. From the new offering, they reeled out 'I Was a Fool' and a jubilant rendition of 'Closer' that got many fans on the main floor bouncing up and down with raised fists. Even more impressive were older favorites, like a bubbly version of 'Back in Your Head' and an uptempo, danceable run-through of 'Living Room,' one of the pair's best overall songs off 2002's If It Was You.

'I'm giving you lots of compliments so you'll like us,' joked Sara, wearing jeans with a polka-dot blouse underneath a cool leather jacket with rolled-up sleeves. She and sister Tegan, in animal print pants and long white shirt with a light black jacket, explained that they lived in Seattle for two months while recording 2009's Sainthood. 'Shock to Your System' and 'Now I'm All Messed Up' were also squeezed onto their tight set list. The only major omission was 'Walking With a Ghost,' which seems to have been dropped from this entire tour.

Fun. began their performance singing 'Some Nights (Intro)' in tuxedos, but then immediately changed into street clothes. A big audience, larger than the previous night's Heart concert, filled the floor, lower levels, and nosebleed sections on the upper tier of the sports arena.

ENERGIZED PERFORMANCE
'This is a big fucking place,' said lead singer Nate Ruess, looking around the venue in amazement. I loved how charismatic he was, so full of energy throughout the concert. He ran around the stage, dancing and frequently jumping into the air, reminding me a lot of Chris Martin from Coldplay, who similarly runs tirelessly around during his shows.

'Why Am I the One' was played early in the set, one of four hit singles from fun.'s 2011 commercial debut, Some Nights. Ruess, dressed comfortably in black denims and purple tank top under a marshmallow-white sport coat, mentioned to everyone that the trio's first Seattle appearance was at Chop Suey.

Confetti was shot into the air during 'Barlights,' a track from 2009's indie recording Aim and Ignite, while everybody sang along to 'Carry On' and during an ambitious cover of the Rolling Stones' 'You Can't Always Get What You Want.' Capping the main set was the anthemic number 'We Are Young,' which earned the group a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in February. They also claimed Best New Artist honors.

'Some Nights' was the lone tune performed for an encore, closing out a terrific performance by the upstart New York-based act. With a new album due for release this fall, we just might see fun. returning to Seattle in a matter of months.

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