Concert Review + Photos: Fun. and Andrew McMahon at Roy Wilkins Auditorium (St Paul, MN)

Fun. (New York, NY) and Andrew McMahon (California)
January 23rd, 2013
Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St Paul, MN

Full Gallery: Fun. and Andrew McMahon at Roy Wilkins

The Twin cities have been electric with the buzz from Prince playing six performances at the Dakota Jazz Club last week. Many asked why The Purple One would be out in the wild, using the club to audition new band members and just jam out? The answer to this question kicked off their tour in St Paul on January 23rd. Fun. commandeered The Purple Yoda’s perch “Paisley Park” for five days to rehearse for their upcoming tour, the time was obviously well spent.

Andrew McMahon opened the show, seated dead center on stage with a keyboard at hand, flanked by five other musicians and backed by a large black curtain. Andrew has been a part of several bands including “Something Corporate” and “Jack’s Mannequin”, but when asked to be part of this tour by Fun., he had a assemble a band quickly! Most of the songs were from the previous two bands, but he did announce that he is working on a new EP and played a few songs off of that.

As we were led out of the photo pit after the first three songs, he announced that song four was going to be a sexy song! A sub-par cheer arose from the sellout 5559 crowd and Andrew; in a perplexed voice asked inquisitively “Who doesn’t like sex?”. This coaxed a much bigger response as if he had just clarified a perviously complex question.

Midway through the set, he took a moment to let us know that we are indeed the “Toughest motherfuckers” for living amongst the bitter cold winters, not to mention the cold snap that has blanketed the state for the past week. Of course, this is coming from someone who lives in California, but we’ll take it! Some of the songs played during his set include “Dark Blue”, “(Passenger) Keep Rising”, and “The Astronaut”.

In between bands, I ran across two booths out in the lobby area situated around the merch. One of them was Outfront Minnesota, an organization  that has a mission to “make Minnesota a place where GLBT Minnesotans have the freedom, power and confidence to make the best choices for their own lives”. Fun. invited them out to set up and talk to people about their cause and to raise awareness that right now, Minnesota has some of the weakest anti-bullying laws in the country. That being said, there is currently legislation due to be brought forward at the capital to make the laws some of the toughest anywhere. The other table was for The Ally Coalition which was created by Fun. and designer Rachel Antonoff. Their goal is to inspire the music, fashion and entertainment communities to take action for LGBTQ equality. Be sure to take some time and check out both of these wonderful organizations.

Fun spent the first two songs on stage behind a black mesh screen, with images and lights being projected over the front of it. From the side, waiting to be lead into the pit, I could not see what was going on up on the screen. I would however see Fun. as they kicked off their set with “Out on the Town” and “One Foot”.

The broad appeal of the band was quite apparent, as it stemmed from parents bringing their kids to their very first concert (awesome), to bros first bumping, vomiting (not awesome) and being lead out of the arena by security. All in all, the capacity crowd cheered, sang, took selfies with a friend for Facebook and danced along to “It Gets Better”, “Carry On” and “All Alone” to name a few.

One of the surprise songs of the night was what I am guessing is a new song called “What The Fuck”, which came across as a happy, poppy jam until the chorus with many “What the fuck?”‘s flying around and being scrawled across a large video screen behind them. Many fucks were given, much applause was received, and many parents leaned over and told their kids not to sing that one in school.


Fun disappeared from the stage and the crowd continued to cheer, we all knew there was at least one more song up their collective sleeve. The band emerged with Dost, Antonoff and Ruess were donning personalized Minnesota Wild hockey sweaters! I am more than a little convinced that the crowd gave it’s loudest ovation of the night due to this move, but that’s just me (GO WILD!). They played their most recent hit song “Some Nights” and the energy was outstanding on stage and in the audience. That would have been the perfect spot to end, but there was one more song on the list called “Stars”. A solid song, no doubt, but after hearing “Some Nights”, people started heading for the exits like their favorite hockey team was just victim of an empty next goal with under a minute to go.

With all of the buzz around this band and their six Grammy nominations including “Album of the Year”, it was great to them surpass my expectations.  My only reservation about talking about the show after would be someone asking me if the show was fun, and then we endure that awkward three-second silence while they flip through their mental thesaurus to find a different word to use.

Fun. Set List:
Intro
Out on the Town
One Foot
Pretty Girls
Why Am I
————
At Least
All Alone
It Gets Better
Barlights
Carry On
————
The Gambler
What the Fuck
We Are Young
All Alright
————
Some Nights
Stars

Full Gallery: Fun. and Andrew McMahon at Roy Wilkins