When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Ogden Theatre, 935 Colfax Ave., Denver, 303-832-1874
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, 303-443-3399
Fun is just too perfect a word to describe the New York City-based trio’s music. You could also call it theatrical, exciting and just plain good.
Some Nights has been out for just over a month now, and fun. has been on tour since just after the album’s release.
“It’s going really well. We’re sort of starting to hit our stride and really get comfortable with all the people out there and figure out the set,” multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Andrew Dost said. “We feel really comfortable and so we can start to mix up a bit.”
That’s good news for fans, and it must be a relief for Dost, who at any given moment might be playing guitar, keys, synths, bass, trumpet, drums — who knows what else. Alongside Dost are Jack Antonoff, playing trumpet, drums and guitar, and Nate Ruess with his stunning, Freddie Mercury-like voice.
Much of the reason for all the Queen comparisons comes from Ruess’ powerful, pitch-perfect vocals, but it’s also the style of the music that feels similar. Some Nights opens with a rock opera-style number, and the songs are packed with dramatic instrumentation and emotional lyrics. Not all musicians want to be compared to their peers or bands that came before them, but Dost doesn’t mind.
“I feel good about it,” he said. “I feel strange because we look up to them a great deal and we don’t really reference them when we write songs.”
When they sit down to write, they might throw around ideas from the Beatles or a Beach Boys harmony, Dost said, but they’ve never directly tried to sound like Queen.
“I think it’s just really flattering and I think he [Freddie Mercury] just had such a theatrical and expressive voice,” Dost said. “I do love the comparison. I think it’s OK when bands own up to things they sound like. I hate when bands say, ‘We don’t sound like anything, man.’ It’s nice to have a little bit of a reference point for people who don’t know us.”
Even if they’re not drawing from Queen, fun.’s writing process puts an emphasis on dramatic music and lyrics that people will identify with. “We Are Young” took on those qualities and it’s already become a hit.
“I guess whenever we talk about a chorus, we talked about how we want it to resonate with people,” Dost said. “We definitely didn’t expect it to take off the way it has, but we wanted it to play big and feel universal.”
The live show is also a big consideration when fun. is writing. Dost said the band grew up playing live, so they’re not often thinking about how songs will work out in a studio, but how they’ll work on stage.
“A lot of what we’re writing when we’re conceiving the songs is about how things are gonna go, the highs and the lows, when people are going to be singing along, or when it’s going to be more mellow.”
So there you go. This is not a show you want to miss. fun. is at the Ogden Theatre tomorrow and the Fox Theatre on Friday, plus they’re doing a free show tomorrow at Twist and Shout Records, 2508 E. Colfax Ave., in Denver.