A critic ripping apart fun. is a bit ridiculous and cruel—like Pauline Kael tearing a new asshole into The Suite Life of Zach & Cody. After all, we're talking about a boy band here. Sure, the shockingly young bassist who looks like an understudy in Newsies is holding an honest-to-god instrument, but this trio is a single baby step above One Direction. Put it this way, if One Direction is a diaper, then fun. is pair of Pull-Ups. Okay, maybe I'll concede they are a potty.
It's hardly scandalizing to note this band is making its bank exclusively on junior prom royalties. The smash hit is called "We Are Young." I think these dudes know exactly who's allowance money they're going after. (And I'll give them credit for at least knowing that they should play the big tune last.) I'm old enough to have sired the people around me, and they are eating this shit up. I feel embarrassed for even standing here, and like a creep. Teenagers can eat greasy, empty calorie pop schlock and not have it go to their mental waist. I don't like it, nor should I be allowed to like it.
With all the high-tech gear and wireless instruments and fancy ear monitors, this comes off like an act at Universal Studios. It feels like they're all pretending to play. The music is thin and shiny and synthetic and seems to emanate from the box of hardware next to the drummer. I look above me to see if a bucket of green slime is waiting to topple.
Lead singer Nate Ruess dresses like Huck Finn and bounces around the stage in Nikes the color of fresh tennis balls. I'm not sure if we can thank the thunderstorms and damp conditions, but I can't hear much of his trademark Auto-Tune—only pure, uncut emo castrato. The first song reminds me, oddly, of the Russian Futurists, a band I'm certain none of their audience would know. That's fine. They shouldn't. Look it up on the tiny computers in your hands, kids.