Fun hopes the party never ends

The group, now selling out shows, enjoys limelight

SPECIAL TO THE IDAHO STATESMANAugust 23, 2013 

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Orange you glad you already bought your ticket? Because the show sold out right away, lots of disappointed fans will be missing out on next week’s Fun performance.

  • Sold out

    FUN: 7 p.m. Aug. 28, Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. Opening: Tegan & Sara. Sold out.

From where Andrew Dost sits, one couldn’t have scripted a much better way to cap off a storybook run behind the album “Some Nights” than this summer’s amphitheater tour.

Shows are selling out — including the one Aug. 28 at the Idaho Botanical Garden’s Outlaw Field, which sold out the same day tickets went on sale.

“This tour is one of the kind of crowning achievements as far as we’re concerned,” Dost said in a late June phone interview. “We’ve been all over the world, but now we’re finally touring in the U.S. and touring these big, giant rooms. They’re going to be a lot of the biggest shows we’ve ever played. And it feels so good to us, like a homecoming and a lap around the country. For somebody that’s been out for a year and a half now (behind “Some Nights”), it feels so good to be able to do this kind of a tour.”

To be sure, the “Some Nights” cycle has been one for the books for Fun.

At the start of 2012, Fun was just one of many mainly unknown groups hoping to make a name for itself. The three band members had joined forces in 2008 after stints in other bands that had released albums and toured the country.

Singer Nate Ruess had been in the Format. Drummer/keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Dost had been in the group Anathallo. Guitarist Jack Antonoff was in Steel Train.

The group debuted in 2010 with the album “Aim & Ignite,” which showed the trio had a talent for writing smart and catchy power-pop.

“Aim & Ignite,” though, failed to make much of an impact commercially. But it didn’t take long to know that “Some Nights” was going to be a different story.

The lead single, “We Are Young,” was released ahead of the “Some Nights” album, and it quickly started making waves. The song got an initial boost when it was used on an episode of “Glee,” and then took a dramatic jump up the charts when it was featured in a commercial for the Chevrolet Sonic during the 2012 Super Bowl. On March 7, “We Are Young” reached No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 all-genre singles chart.

The band’s fortunes continued to grow from there. The song “Some Nights” became the second single and spent seven months on the Hot 100 chart, peaking at number three, while a third single, “Carry On,” went top 10 on Billboard’s Rock Songs, Alternative Songs and Adult Pop songs charts, and peaked at number 20 on the Hot 100.

Dost said the band realized that having “We Are Young” top the Hot 100 was a big deal. But it wasn’t until last summer that the group really began to see signs that it had entered the mainstream consciousness.

“Summer was right around the time when we would start to play that song (‘We Are Young’), and even if it was at a festival, or we were playing a sort of an unfamiliar crowd, we would play ‘We Are Young’ and then maybe ‘Some Nights’ even starting around that time, that would get a few reactions, whether or not they were fans there to see us or not,” Dost said.

The rise of Fun in the music world was capped off this past February when the group won two Grammy Awards — for Best New Artist and Song of the Year (for “We Are Young.”) That recognition stands out to Dost as the high point of a memorable year.

“The Grammys sort of cast a shadow over everything else,” Dost said. “Everything has been wonderful, and I don’t want to take anything away from the many, many good things we’ve experienced, But that sort of is just the biggest for me personally. That’s such a high honor to be recognized in that way by my peers. That’s kind of the highest honor a musician can get. So that stands out for me.”

Dost said the band is ready to bring a show that’s fittingly big for the large venues Fun is playing this summer.

“It’s going to be a pretty revamped version of anything we’ve done, more lights, more instruments, more and bigger because we pride ourselves on being a live band first and foremost,” he said. “We play a lot of music, but we also know that to fill up a bigger space, you need some help. You need some lights, you need some festivity. So we want to bring this sort of big show and that spirit into wherever we are, and we also want to bring the club and the small show into those rooms, too.”

After the tour wraps up, the band plans to turn its attention to making its next album. There will be major expectations, but Dost said the band is embracing the challenge.

“Now there’s the pressure of the next album, which is good. We like it,” Dost said. “Whether people are paying attention or not, we’re still going to be writing songs and touring and all of that good stuff. Whether or not we were a one-hit wonder or a one-album wonder, whatever we are or were, we’re going to be around, even if we’re just making records our parents buy.”

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