Some artists may have cold feet when heading out on their own. It’s new territory. You have to forge a fine line to reliving the material that fans may recognize you for while introducing them into your new material. Will they be receptive to it? It’s a crap shoot honestly. Some artists roll snake eyes, some may strike a chord so much that it makes their whole bands that much more popular.
Bands like Fun. and The Format have very loyal fan bases as depicted in one of the first solo shows of Nate Ruess‘s Grand Romantic run. Webster Hall was packed with fans from all demographics – it almost looked like a college graduation ceremony. Any thoughts of cold feet were quickly erased as Nate Ruess entered on the stage in a very energetic way performing “Great Big Storm” off his recently released album.
The best way to describe Ruess during the hour plus set is kid-like glee. Honestly, he put everything into this performance with a new sense of purpose. A new solo album will do that to you. Especially in lieu to the theme of Grand Romantic where the songs depict that rush when you first fall in love. Whether it be in love with the new start of his career or love at face value, everything came out on the stage. Often interacting with his band, covering every inch of the Webster Hall stage, fans gave the energy back as well. Throughout the set, there were covers played like Prince‘s “Let’s Go Crazy” and Bruce Springsteen‘s “Thunder Road”. Speaking of which, the elephants in the room (“We Are Young” and “Carry On”) were played as well. Why not play some of your most well-known songs?
“Nothing Without Love”, the first taste we received from Grand Romantic sounded as big as I thought it would with most fans in the front row echoing the chorus back. Lo and behold, the second encore of the night was a treat for The Format fans as “She Doesn’t Get It” was played to end the night. I’m pretty sure Nate was spent as much of the older fans that night that yelled their voices hoarse. No stage fright, no cold feet here.