Photos: fun. at Radio City Music hall in New York City - Reverb

fun. at Radio City Music hall in New York City, 02/02/13 (photos, review)

fun. singer Nate Ruess was beyond the point of elation on Saturday night as his band played to a sold-out Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

“I might have the best show of my life, that’s for sure,” he said between songs.

It was a big hometown show for fun., the oddly named group whose year-old record “Some Nights” had just been declared platinum. That’s a million records sold in an age where many of the biggest bands in the world can no longer sell a million records. And on Saturday, fun. played as if it was one of the biggest bands in the world.

As we noted a few months ago, when fun. played the largest headlining show of its career just outside of Denver, the group is still finding its way on the stage. “Some Nights” was one of the best records of 2012, no doubt, but the group is still honing its live show.

But as they opened with a quick blast of fan favorites on Saturday, from “Out On the Town” to “One Foot” and “Why Am I the One,” Ruess and his group seemed closer to finding their footing. A fun. show is all about energy and community, a celebration of life and fandom. In fact, my aisle seat couldn’t have been better situated to witness the fandemonium.

The guy in front of me: Built like a linebacker and rocking his awkward (but awesome) interpretive dance from start to finish. The young woman behind me: Singing along, pitch perfect thankfully, to every word of every song.

This band is a modern day Dashboard Confessional in the sense that these fans mean serious business. And I get it. Songs such as “Some Nights” and “We Are Young,” which both landed in the encore on Saturday, are truly special musical nuggets. And at Radio City, it was easy to see the value of deeper album tracks such as “One Foot” and “Why Am I the One.”

It’s as if Ruess and his bandmates named their group with the very simple intention of it conveying what they wanted people to get out of their music. The music is fun, and the shows are a good time. And if they keeping working on their live chops, they could certainly reap the rewards of a very long, very beloved career.

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Ricardo Baca is the founder and executive editor of Reverb, the co-founder of The UMS and an award-winning critic and editor at The Denver Post.

Joe McCabe is a New York photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb. Check out his website.

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