Fun. Tour Will Reflect Explosive Success: 'I Guess We Can Afford a Light Show'
North American tour starts Jan. 23
Sounding strong and refreshed after a month or so off the road, fun. played its first show of 2013 on Tuesday night at Cars.com's invitation-only party and awards show at the Fillmore Detroit, part of the annual North American International Auto Show's preview week.
With frontman Nate Ruess thanking the crowd "for pulling us out of retirement" -- and noting they were in bandmate Andrew Dost's home town -- the sextet ripped through a 40-minute set that included the hits "We Are Young," "Some Nights" and "Carry On," as well as deeper cuts such as "Why Am I The One," "It Gets Better" and "Barlights." The group closed with a cover of the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want."
Now fun. starts preparing in earnest for its upcoming North American tour, which kicks off Jan. 23 in St. Paul, Minn., after another one-off on the Reverb Campus Consciousness Tour stop Jan. 17 in Middlebury, Vermont. Ruess tells Billboard that the group is looking forward to a more sophisticated presentation this time around.
"I guess we can afford things like a light show, that type of stuff," he says. "I've been watching DVDs of other bands, seeing how they figure out their set list, how they do their light show and stuff like that, kind of like music history. I like seeing what my favorite bands have done before as far as putting sets together and putting lights together and stuff like that. For us to get to kind of do that and get to bring out a lighting package and all that other type of stuff, that's the stuff that success, it's just amazing that it affords you the opportunity to do that, to take our live show, something we take so much pride in, and put our spin on it."
Dost adds that fun. is "kind of changing everything. This (success) happened so fast, the kind of explosion of the band, that we didn't really have time to adjust. We were all happy with our show, but I think there's a certain element or grand quality that's expected if you're playing a big show, and I don't know if we were ready for that. So I think we're starting to finally catch our show up to the size of rooms we're playing, and I'm really excited about it. I feel like our show is about to get a lot stronger this year."
Fun. will interrupt the tour for a Feb. 10 performance at the Grammy Awards, where the group is nominated in six categories. Its 2013 agenda also includes the touring Future Music Festival in Australia and Malaysia during March and a European trek in April, while the group expects to be on the road throughout the summer, too, with a June 14 show at the U.K.'s Isle of Wight Festival already on the books. "I think we're going to have the month of May off, which I'm really excited about, but other than that we're gonna be around," Dost says. "We're going to be touring quite a bit."
Ruess, Dost and Jack Antonoff also hope to start getting some time to work on new music and at least start thinking about a follow-up to "Some Nights." Ruess says he's written one song that he feels "will definitely be on the next album" and has already started working with "Some Nights' " primary producer Jeff Bhasker. As for more songs, Ruess notes that, "I think when you write too far in advance, you don't get those lightning-in-a-bottle type of moments. That's what made 'Some Nights' special -- it was so very in an inspired moment. So I'd rather take it as it comes rather than plan something out."
Dost, meanwhile, says that fun.'s tour plans are so enveloping that "we're not totally chomping at the bit. We're still in love with these songs. We're still excited about touring with 'Some Night.' But I do love being in the studio. I love writing, and I think we're in a good creative rhythm and really know how to work well with each other now. So hopefully it'll be sooner rather than later, but we don't know yet."