fun. blends rock and roll with theatrics at the Mann Center (photos, review)

fun. | Photo by Noah Silvestry |
fun. | Photo by Noah Silvestry |

All photos by Noah Silvestry |

Prior to New York-based pop group fun.‘s stop at The Mann Center, I had given each of their two albums several listens, both of which offered excellent songwriting overshadowed by a notably polished and produced sound, customary to today’s pop music. Live, however, the band takes on a new dimension, appearing sooner as a rock band than anything else. It comes as no surprise that fun. has developed one of the most devout audiences I’ve seen at a concert in a while; frontman Nate Ruess’s lustrous vocals being supported by the impressive musicianship of core members Andrew Dost and Jake Antonoff in addition to a talented and energetic live band (including Philadelphia native Will Noon on drums).

I knew I would be getting a show, yet I was pleasantly surprised to find that fun. puts on a concert that verges on being theatrical. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Samantha Crain at The Fire, Des Ark at Johnny Brenda’s, The Districts at World Cafe Live, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at Chameleon Club

Photo by Harry Taylor
Photo by Harry Taylor

Whether it’s with a band, as a guest musician or simply flying solo, Samantha Crain makes great music anyway possible. The folk singer has been around for a few years and just released her third studio album, Kid Face in February.  Her music varies from haunting to sweet folk ballads and all of it is pretty good.  Tonight, she’s playing at The Fire.  Check out some of her music below and click here for ticket information.

Continue reading →


fun. comes to the Mann Center in July with Tegan & Sara


We’re excited to announce that fun. will be coming to the Mann Center main stage, toting their Grammy nominated album We Are Young along with openers Tegan & Sara. Fans can also hope for new tracks like “Sight of the Sun,” recently recorded for HBO’s Girls season one soundtrack. Tegan & Sara come bearing new material as well. The duo released an album last week, Heartthrob, which has received attention for its pop sensibility and accessibility. This show promises to bring together two critically-acclaimed artists and their most dance-friendly albums to date. Tickets for the show will be available Saturday, February 16, at noon. Below, listen to fun.’s track “Sight of the Sun.”


Photo Recap: FUN. at the River Stage at Great Plaza

Last night fun. was warmly welcomed to Philadelphia by a sold out crowd. Check out the photo recap of their set at the River Stage at Great Plaza in the gallery above.


Weekend Picks: fun. at Theatre Of Living Arts


Auctioneer + Sister Crayon, La Capitana at Kung Fu Necktie (7:30 p.m., 21+, $8); Cranes Are Flying + Great Elk, Welter, Ryan Petrillo at The Fire (8:30 p.m., 21+, $8);

Many artists choose to live the simple life, appreciating the little things rather than money and fame. Nate Ruess, lead singer of New York City-bred indie-pop band fun., seems to support such an outlook. The innocent nature of “Snails” by his former band, The Format, is an adorable song uplifting a snail’s ability to “see the benefits, the beauty in every inch” of the world.  Ruess now lends his smooth, well-controlled voice to his more recent undertaking, fun.; it has continued in The Format’s optimistic, pop-loving footsteps with its well-known hit, “We Are Young,” a tune about appreciating young love and life. We can also thank the band’s name for revealing its blissful intention: convey a “content, simple life” feel in all that they do. Fun. performs at 7 p.m. at Theater of the Living Arts; tickets to the all-ages show are SOLD OUT. —Lisa Henderson

Also Playing: Black Horse Motel + Linus The Moon, Sweet Eureka, Christopher Paul Stelling at North Star Bar (9 p.m., 21+, $8); Oh! Pears + Alex Winston, Octant at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $10); Third World + Ghost, Derrick Barnett And The Statement Band, Jadine at The Trocadero (8 p.m., all ages, $35-$40); Work Drugs + Faux Slang, Ports Of Call at Kung Fu Necktie (9 p.m., 21+, $10)

Into It Over It + Everyone Everywhere, Young Statues, By Surprise, Heartwell at The Barbary (6:30 p.m., all ages, $10-$12);Kind Of Like Spitting, Folklore, Little Big League at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., all ages, $10); Susan Werner + David Wilcox at World Cafe Live (7:30 p.m., all ages, $33-$43)


This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Teenage Fanclub, Ra Ra Riot, The Vaselines, Rarebirds, Born Ruffians

The Vaselines
The Vaselines (Sunday at First Unitarian Church)

Tonight’s Fun show at World Cafe Live is sold out, but there are plenty of other options for anyone who slept on getting tickets. Local indie-pop ensemble Oh! Pears—which we highlighted earlier this week—performs with Missing Palmer West and Jac at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m./21+/$10); we’re pretty sure there should be some room left for the audience once the band packs all 13 members of its ever-growing lineup into the venue. Meanwhile, anyone willing to drop $42 to see the B-52’s at Electric Factory (8 p.m./all-ages) should get there early enough to see the opening performance by local electronic rock quartet Gang. All of that, of course, assumes that you haven’t already made plans to see Teenage Fanclub at The Trocadero performing as part of Philebrity’s Sixth Anniversary Party (8 p.m./all ages/$21)—which you probably have.

Saturday night’s !!! and Les Savy Fav show at Electric Factory has been postponed (no word on the reschedule date). Which means you’ll have to cry in your beers at either the Ra Ra Riot show at The Trocadero (8 p.m./all ages/$16), the “Automatic Amnesia: New Works By Joe Castro” after-party featuring The Sky Drops at the M Room (9 p.m./21+/$8), or The Clean Equations vinyl-release show at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m./21+/$10).

Make sure to save some energy for Sunday night, because it’s a big one. Scottish indie-pop band The Vaselines are doing the reunion-tour thing, complete with a new record, Sex With An X (released last month by Sub Pop); the band performs with Jeffrey Lewis at 8 p.m. at First Unitarian Church (all ages/$18). Canadian indie-rock trio Born Ruffians is also touring behind a new album, Say It (released earlier this summer by Warp); the band performs with Winter Gloves and Toy Soldiers at 8 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s (21+/$10-$12). And it’s also your last chance to see local indie-pop band Rarebirds—which we highlighted yesterday—perform before they call it quits; the show begins at 8 p.m at M Room (21+/$8).