Concert Review: FUN. and Walk the Moon

Walk The Moon opened for FUN. on tour in Madrid

FUN. played many of their hits during their show in Madrid, including "We Are Young"

By Tyler Sivero

FUN., Walk The Moon
Sala Marco Aldany, Madrid, Spain
October 21, 2012


Recently, I had the pleasure of being able to attend a sold out show for FUN. with Walk The Moon as the opener. As if this isn’t a feat in itself, I was able to see them abroad in Madrid, Spain. As a student studying abroad in Madrid it’s great to be able to see a show in a foreign country. Especially when the bands are from America. It helps to give you a little taste of home; even if you are thousands of miles away.

As I arrived to the show it became apparent I wasn’t the only American there. For as big as FUN. is in America, and for however many times they did play “We Are Young” on the radio, the band’s popularity did not fully transfer to Spain. It seemed there were about 60% Americans and 40% Spanish. Both bands still made an effort to recognize where they were and give their best shot at recalling what little Spanish they learned in high school. The amount of Americans was not the only thing I first noticed upon arrival. Once I was inside I was blown away by how small the venue was. FUN. had sold out large arenas in southern California just a few months ago. Lawn seats sold for $60 and up at these shows. I had bought a ticket for less than half of that and was standing five people from the front. I knew I was in for a treat before the show even began.

Walk The Moon started soon after I entered and definitely got the crowds energy up for being so little known, especially in Spain. Their hit song “Anna Sun” was played largely on the radios over the summer and has boosted them to a widely recognized and famous band. Their backdrop featured their recent album cover which is something similar to a watercolor painting. It also matched their MGMT-style face paint. They dressed in short-sleeve collared shirts while the bassist preferred leopard pants and a tank top. I was getting a very hipster look and indie-rock sound. I had nothing to complain about. Most of their songs had a quick tempo and classic indie-rock much like Two Door Cinema Club. Most songs fast and featured heavy drums with a release of distorted and high electric guitar notes. Overall, I got a real lively and energetic feel that left me wanting to listen to more even in anticipation of FUN.. Towards the end of the set the band even offered to meet with the audience after the show. This is something that definitely goes a long ways today since many bands seem to have a real loose connection with their fans.

After a short waiting period FUN. came out with a grand welcome. The small venue once again provided a real connection to the band as band members looked up to the balcony and back to the fans at their feet. Each band member seemed to display their own style in dress whether it be a jean jacket worn by Nate Ruess (lead singer) or the drooping tank of guitarist Jack Antonoff. FUN. itself is a collaboration of members from different bands. Many know that Ruess is the former lead singer of The Format but few know that Jack Antonoff is from Steel Train and Andrew Dost (pianist and horns) is from Anathallo. This diversity and combination of these different bands provided for a great array of different talents and definitely contributed to the depth of the show. It was evident that they all were uniquely talented and their different talents showed. For example during slower ballads Dost pulled out a trumpet and various horns where in other songs Antonoff broke off into improvised solos.

In general, the band and especially Ruess put out an incredible amount of energy. Ruess would belt out high notes, jump around and put his whole body into the song. It seemed there was never a dull moment. The small venue seemed to contribute to the impact on the show for the band members as well. Constantly, Ruess would stop, look up and smile at the crowd or have to pause in between songs to make comment at how taken aback he was. It turns out the show was special for them indeed, as Ruess’s parents were in attendance, all the way from Iowa. These factors combined made for a once in a lifetime show thousands of miles from home. But the night didn’t end there.

I ended up getting a chance to speak with some of the members of Walk The Moon after the show. Lead singer Nicholas Petricca and guitarist Eli Maiman were kind enough to sign autographs, take pictures, and talk with their fans. I even had the chance to sit down and talk with both of them after the signing for a little while. After asking about the explosion of their hit song “Anna Sun” and their reactions I got a different answer than I was expecting. Maiman explained that even with that huge boost into fame it doesn’t mean that they stop promoting themselves. This went along with the fact that once you’ve had a hit song things don’t necessarily go the direction you think they will and it’s definitely not easier. Regardless, being a smaller band from Ohio they are stoked to be climbing up in the music world and to be doing European tours with such a big name as FUN. Petricca told me that one of his favorite things of the European tour is getting to go see and experience different places even if for a short time. He expressed his short but amazing time in Germany and how he hopes to return one day. Overall, the guys were overly nice and really care about their fans. They are also undoubtedly working in every aspect to make a name for themselves in the music industry. Definitely qualities that many of today’s artist have lost sight of.

Walk the Moon will be playing a show at the House of Blues San Diego on November 14. I strongly recommend going to see a great show with a group of guys that really care about music and their fans. You won’t regret it.