Amid hand claps and billowing clouds of stage fog, the New York trio called Fun. kicked off its concert Tuesday night at the Paramount Theatre with a buoyant “Out on the Town.”
The song was a perfect opener for a high-spirited show by one of the hottest bands in the country.
With six Grammy nominations, Fun. arrived in Seattle on an auspicious week. The group is poised to cap a phenomenal year with a performance on Sunday’s Grammy Awards telecast — and perhaps an armload of trophies.
Less than three weeks after its appearance at President Obama’s second inaugural, the pop-rock band returned to Seattle where much of the fun started just a few years ago.
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Singer Nate Ruess recalled a night at Chop Suey when everything seemed to click.
“Sometimes when you start something like this, you wonder if it’s going to work,” Ruess said, referring to the band’s modest beginnings. “And that first time in Seattle, it worked.”
Ruess is an impressive frontman, with a commanding presence and a soaring voice that recalls that of the late Freddie Mercury. The production featured a giant LED screen and dazzling lights, giving the concert the look and feel of a rock show-turned-Broadway musical.
Backing Ruess and band members Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost was a trio of additional musicians featuring singer, guitarist and keyboardist Emily Moore.
The crowd that packed the main floor sang along enthusiastically to such songs as “One Foot,” “Some Nights” and “Why Am I the One,” which left the hyperkinetic Ruess somewhat winded. “I gotta catch my breath,” he said.
He then gushed a little too much about how much the band loves Seattle: “For someone who’s never done drugs before, I feel like I’m on Ecstasy.”
The concert closed with a powerful encore of “We Are Young,” the band’s megahit, and “Stars,” demonstrating why Fun. inspires boy-band hysteria wherever it goes.
Afterward, concertgoers streamed to the exits, assuming the show had concluded. But after a lengthy break, Ruess and company returned for a stirring cover of the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
Gene Stout: email@example.com