Rushing down Red River Street to the MTVU Woodie Awards stage, I caught the last few songs of Chiddy Bang's set. I especially enjoyed hearing "The Opposite of Adults," which flips MGMT's "Kids" into a beat. The sound was a little low, unfortunately; this would come back to haunt us.
The first full set that I saw was Imagine Dragons, who hail from Las Vegas. They're friends with the Killers, and the influence showed in their set of dance-rock. My favorite part of the whole set was a dubstep breakdown in the middle of a tune; but instead of having the actual electronics play, they attempted to recreate the sound of the break with only their guitar/bass/drums instruments. They seemed to be getting a kick out of this idea; it was really, really funny to me.
The sound problems that plagued Chiddy Bang reoccured during fun.'s set. The theatrical, highly-ornamental pop band opened with "Some Nights," the incredibly complex title track of their recently-released album. The sound was weak throughout, until they fixed it (somewhat) by the second track, but the majestic power of the multi-part harmonies was weakened. Lead singer Nate Ruess was visibly attempting to get sound fixed throughout the tune.
But after the stage struggles, the band delivered a hyperactive set of pop that embraced the audience. Ruess got the audience singing along during several tunes, and the six-member band made all sorts of passionate racket. After "leaving" before playing their hit single "We Are Young," they returned for an "encore" and played it with gusto. Everyone in the crowd sung along. It was a rousing success. fun.'s unique sound is tough to peg, but The Format, Queen and Panic! At the Disco are all apt RIYLs.