Midway through the set at Red Rocks Amphitheatre Thursday night, fun.‘s Nate Ruess was in the mood to tell a story. With the rain falling down around him, he guilted band mates Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff to duck out of the shelter of the stage and join the audience in getting soaked.
“I remember we were driving to Denver to play the Bluebird Theater. It was our first ever live show in Colorado. We got a call from our manager and he basically told us that we were fired. But then we got a new manager. He is awesome. He told us we had to keep playing Colorado, because one day it would all lead here. Keep playing Colorado and it would lead to Red Rocks!”
That kind of energy and enthusiasm carried “Cheerleader Rock” act, fun., through its second night at the storied amphitheater.
The night was a mix of songs both old and new. Besides predictable performances of the groups’ singles off “Some Nights,” fun. included fan favorites off the first album, “Aim and Ignite,” with songs like “The Gambler,” “All the pretty Girls” and “At least I’m not Sad.”
When it rains at Red Rocks it’s up to the artist to brave the audience through the misery, and fun. came prepared. “We are effing cursed!” said guitarist Jack Antonoff. “Ever since we asked for fake rain at the Grammys it rains every time we play outside. But it makes for the best shows.”
fun. is a band of many talents. The group travels with multi instrumentalists Nate Harold on bass and Emily Moore on guitar and keys. Ruess introduced Harold as “Colorado’s own!”
Close enough. Harold is actually from Weskan, Kan., located in the unincorporated community in Wallace County, Kan., a mere 4 miles from the Colorado border.
In a break from playing its own music, fun. closed out the regular set with Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” that featured Harold on saxophone.
Evan Semón is a Denver freelance writer and photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. See more of his work.
Seth McConnell is a member of YourHub at The Denver Post and a regular contributor to Reverb.