The Five Stages of Fun. Acceptance for Diehard Fans of The Format

Categories: This Week

fun. panic at the disco kholood did
Kholood Eid
Fun. opening for Panic! at the Disco in 2011.
Diehard fans of The Format had a lot of soul-searching to do when fun.--the band formed by erstwhile lead singer Nate Ruess--hit the mainstream with Some Nights. Some of it was about the music, and some of it was about the reaction: What are you supposed to do when somebody who isn't from Phoenix tells you how much they love fun.?

Thankfully, Express Feelings of Intense Betrayal appears to be the least-popular option. I've certainly come into contact with people who believe that Ruess leaving for New York and (even) poppier production values was an unthinkable betrayal of anyone who spent 2007 forcing "The Compromise" onto their friends, but most of them are at least able to avoid shouting "You lie!" at that Chevy Sonic commercial.

You'll recognize Format fans who have just moved past that phase because they'll be telling you about how great the Format is. When "We Are Young" and "Some Nights" were unavoidable--and again when Ruess and Pink's "Just Give Me A Reason" topped the Billboard charts--these still-convalescing fans would take any quiet moment as an opportunity to explain that sure, the song you were listening to was popular but "The First Single" was much catchier and also so self-aware and I have the songs on my phone, actually, just listen to this one.

Fun. 2009 Clubhouse Victor Palagano
Victor Palagano
fun. at The Clubhouse back in 2009.
For these fans, still bewildered by the breakup, a fun. song is a necessary evil, useful primarily for illustrating how good The Format was to the uninitiated. That guy talking to you while "Just Give Me A Reason" was playing on the closed-circuit TV at Carl's Jr. has chosen to Become a Format Missionary.

It's a noble pursuit, if also a little reductive--many a Format Missionary is so dedicated to his cause that he still hasn't listened to the entirety of Some Nights, having found himself on important proselytizing business 30 seconds into the title track's weird, nervous monologue.

After going through both of those phases--along with intermediary periods like Wonder If You Liked The Format In The First Place and Wonder If You Liked Pink the Whole Time, Secretly--you might be lucky enough to pass into Format-diehard nirvana, and Decide fun. Is Pretty Okay After All, Even If That Idiosyncratic Punctuation Is Goofy.

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Nice! As a diehard fan of The Format, I wish every day they were still around!

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