Jack Antonoff says he and his fun. bandmates don't have high expectations for their upcoming show at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival -- just "our best show of the year and probably one of our best shows of all time."
But he's confident the trio, riding high on the success of its sophomore album "Some Night" and its chart-topping, triple-platinum hit "We Are Young," is up to the challenge.
"We have a big song, and that's slightly unexpected and thrilling and amazing," Antonoff said during a recent conference call with reporters. "It's almost like the party's been happening, and now a lot of people are kind of jumping in. Yes, I think there's going to be a lot of people that are like, 'Oh, that band with that song...' But I think the majority of people packed in that tent are going to be fun. fans because they're out there, and we have no doubt they'll be at Bonnaroo.
I'm expecting all those faces you've been seeing for years, those fun. fans who supported us, and all those new people who are excited to check it out. And I'm excited for those new people to see the fans because those are the people that define us...I think that all those new people, you know, will see that. And I think that our old fans take a lot of pride in explaining to all these new people what a fun. show is. And Bonnaroo to me is going to be just a wonderful culmination of those two things."
There's a down side to that, he added. "(The Bonnaroo show) is probably something we'll talk about forever and...always go back to," Antonoff says. "It'll be like, 'God, that was an amazing show. We've got to match that again. And unfortunately we might only be able to do that at Bonnaroo."
Fun.'s Sunday evening performance at Bonnaroo will also allow Antonoff to continue a personal "very special relationship" with the festival that begin with his previous band, Steel Train's performance there in 2005, with his parents and sister in attendance, camping out. "The people who book that festival and that festival in general took a big chance on me when I was starting in music," Antonoff recalls. "It was the first taste I had of...that sort of live music dream -- getting up on stage being pretty much an unknown band and, oh my God, there's 10,000 people there and they're all going nuts and they're all creating on thing that's bigger than the band and the audience. It felt like f***ing Live Aid, like those videos I grew up watching Queen playing. I was just turned around and shocked. It was completely just a sensory overload-type situation. I'll always think about that as probably my favorite show of all time."
Antonoff laments that fun. won't have time to catch much else at Bonnaroo; they're in the midst of a tour with shows on either side of its festival date. With "Some Nights' " title track just out as the album's second single, the group has dates in North America booked into early September -- including slots at Lollapalooza, the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival and Sonic Boom -- with a European run beginning Sept. 19 and running through October. More touring is expected to follow, and Antonoff told Billboard.com that fun.'s next album isn't even a glimmer of an idea yet.
"I think there's something a little unfair to think about what's next when you're out there talking about and playing ('Some Nights') live," he explained. "Our job right now is to do a great service to the people who have gotten behind this album... It's important for us to catch those moments and not overthink things. I don't think that we have any intention of imagining our next artistic step musically until we're ready to go in and do it. And so for us that's at least not for another year because stretched out ahead of us is the continuing story of 'Some Nights' and bringing that vision all over the world, hopefully."