fun., Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center, 5/31/12

fun. Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center Thursday, May 31

See also: Nate Ruess Has Some fun. At Zia Records

fun. frontman Nate Ruess wears his heart on his sleeve, and that's why it's so easy to get into his head. His lyrics -- part stream of consciousness ("My friends are in the bathroom, getting higher than the Empire State"), part diary entries ("So this is it? I miss my mom and dad for this?") -- practically invite you in.

The guy's got something on his mind, and he wants to tell you what it is. His lyrical transparency isn't the only reason for fun.'s total domination of the Ikeda Theatre stage at Mesa Arts Center last night. No, keyboardist Andrew Dost's piano pop melodies and guitarist Jack Antonoff's classic bar rock affectations had a lot to do with it, too (as did the live band: bassist Nate Harold, drummer Will Noon, and guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist, saxophonist, all-around-charmer Emily Moore). But Ruess is the centerpiece, the guy bouncing around the stage, the guy telling jokes about Glendale's cat killers, the guy pouring it all out.

The guy, most clearly, who felt very, very happy to be home.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.