Tuesday, 23 April 2013

fun. at leeds o2 academy

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
i was too scared to use my big camera at a gig and these are what my little camera churned out! kind of bizarre but i'm sort of in love with them. 

sorry that my posts are jumbled and messy right now, i'm so back-logged on posts, this is crazy! my weekend in london apparently warranted about 10 posts (some of them i still haven't written!) and now my regular posting schedule is a mess. i keep having to weave new things between london things and it's all very confusing, but i shall try to move on!
anyway, last tuesday i saw fun. at the leeds o2 academy, which is the closest music venue to where i live (we also have the cockpit for very small gigs and the leeds arena is opening soon, which i'm super excited about). i think fun. either just finished or are soon to finish the uk part of their tour, but if you're sad that you missed them they are embarking on a summer 'most nights' tour and will be back in the uk for that! YAAAY.
the support act were miniature tigers, who i had never heard of, but before the gig i searched some of their songs on youtube and i thought they were quite good (think kate nash meets two door cinema club), but they sounded much more like an indie dance band live. they were REALLY GOOD though, i just wish i hadn't been stood in the 'respectfully bopping and not thrashing around' section of the venue. i can imagine them being very good at a festival, maybe in the dance tent at leeds fest or something? they're american and at one point andrew from fun. came out to play keyboards with them for a song and the lead singer of miniature tigers got everyone to chant, "andrew! andrew!" but with a room full of yorkshire folk it sounded more like, "arndrew! arndrew!", and i found that to be particularly amusing, apparently. they also kept trying to get us to chant, "fuck london!" and we all just kind of went, "uh... no." haha!
after miniature tigers there was a 30 minute interval and it started to get crazy crowded. i knew it would be busy because it was a sold out show but it was literally packed with people everywhere, and i mean PACKED. like my face was inappropriately close to this guys bicep (i'm quite short), and for maybe the whole first half of the show my nose was almost buried in some woman's blonde curls. pretty ridiculous. also, because i'm so small and there were so many people directly in front of me, it was quite hard to see for a lot of the show, and at points i did end up doing the shitty thing of watching it through my phone camera (the video i shot is above, although the audio is annoyingly awful). all of that sucked BUT what counts is that fun. were amazing and crazy and perfect.
when they first came out it was like a shot of blinding white light and then darkness, and then when it went light again one of them would be stood at their little station on stage, which i imagine would've looked pretty cool if it wasn't for the flash photography illuminating the room so you could see everyone scuttling around on stage, haha! they opened the show with 'one foot' which was the PERFECT opener because it's so strong and each beat had a different coloured flash of light with it, like green blue yellow red etc., it looked amazing. i'm probably the only one who picked up on this because i'm so conditioned to notice lights from watching queen live so many times, but their lighting guy should win a fucking oscar, i have NEVER seen such perfect light choices for anything in my whole life! (one of my favourite bits was during the chorus of 'out on the town', which you can see in my video footage, but again, the sound is terrible).
the show was about 50/50 between songs on their big hit album 'some nights', and their first album, 'aim and ignite'. i'm going to confess that i haven't actually listened to 'aim and ignite' yet (i have this thing that if i like a band then i don't like to listen to all their material at once, like i save it for when i really need it), so i didn't know a lot of the songs, but that didn't detract from the show. they did all my favourites, like 'some nights, and, 'why am i the one', and 'stars', but really i love all of the songs on 'some nights' and they all sounded incredible.
like, i know lots of bands are very good, and lots of people have very good voices, but i've literally never heard anyone be THAT GOOD consistently throughout a WHOLE SHOW before. even the voices of the greats crack at some point, but nate's voice just kept growing and growing until it filled the whole room. i heard someone say, as we were leaving, something like, "in my life i've seen people like U2 and elton john and aerosmith, but they were probably the best live act i've ever seen!" they were THAT good.
nate ruess was so charismatic as well, you can tell that they take inspiration from queen. lots of people compare them to queen, but i don't really hear it in their music, so maybe they meant their live shows? nate did the freddie call-and-response for a bit, which, as a queen fan who never got to see them live, was so wonderful to take part in. his performance, and his stage presence was just mind-blowing, like i was so swept up in this guys beauty and voice and energy, i just wanted to live in it forever.
oh, and i know what you're thinking, "what about 'we are young?'" well, it was possibly the best thing i've ever heard. they kind of did one of those 'pretend to end the show and wait for an encore but really you just walk off and then walk back on again' things (like, they could never leave before doing that song), and the drums started and the whole place went fucking insane. the energy and the atmosphere in that room was so powerful, i felt like i could just float right up to the stage. the whole audience sang the whole song, pitch perfect, holding every note to the very end. we all just kind of stood there and danced and sang, whilst fun. sang with us, i've never experienced anything so simple and pure and perfect before. we all sang the last lines ("so if by the time the bar closes, and you feel like falling down, i'll carry you home, tonight.") and it sounded incredible and nate looked so happy that he could've cried and i don't even have words to express how great it felt to have been part of that.
the final encore was 'stars', which is one of my favourites of theirs, and oh, it sounded so PERFECT. nate was holding all the notes for what seemed like years and his voice is so strong, it sounded magical and euphoric and lots of other words as well. the song went on forever and they kept pausing to say things and tell stories and they kept going back to the song but it was almost like the song never stopped, if that makes any kind of sense. it was WONDERFUL. at first i was like, "why are they not ending on their biggest hit?" but then it made so much sense to end on 'stars', it was just perfect.
i hope that they come back to leeds on their summer tour (and do a show, not leeds fest, because i can't go to leeds fest) so i can see them again. i hadn't been to see a band live since 2008, when i saw the kaiser chiefs at their homecoming gig at elland road stadium (incredible, if you're wondering), and it was such a wonderful feeling to be part of that gig atmosphere again. plus, fun. are just amazing anyway. xx

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