Ruess, former lead vocalist of Fun., Holychild to perform at Lawnparties| Sep 10, 2015
Nate Ruess, lead vocalist of former Grammy-winning indie rock band Fun., will headline the 2015 fall Lawnparties, Undergraduate Student Government social chair Simon Wu ’17 announced in an email Thursday.Indie pop duo Holychild will stage the opening act, Wu said.
Ruess, along with Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost, formed Fun. in 2008. In March 2012, “We Are Young,” the lead track of the band’s second album "Some Nights" topped Billboard's Hot 100. The song then won the band the Grammy Award for Song of the year, and in 2013, the band won Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
In February 2015, Fun announced that the band would no longer produce as a group. Four months later, Ruess released his debut solo studio album.
Holychild formed in college at George Washington University. The band consists of songwriter and vocalist Liz Nistico and producer and multi-instrumentalist Louie Diller. The band was named by Billboard as one of the “14 artists to watch in 2014.”
The announcement comes after the USG released two hints on the Lawnparties Facebook page and on the USG Facebook page. The first hint said "Who doesn't love ramen in college?" referring to Ruess' label, Fueled by Ramen, and the second said "A bouquet of roses, a box of chocolates, a candlelit dinner..." referring to the name of his first solo album, "Grand Romantic."
According to Wu, members of the Social Committee selected the two artists from a shortlist after seeing an overwhelming preference among students for alternative rock in a survey collected in the spring.
“We had more than 1,000 responses to the survey,” Wu said.
He noted that after parceling out the entries with Google Analytics, the committee contacted a handful of pop and rock artists, gradually narrowing down the list based on factors including availability and pricing.
“The biggest reward in this round of selections was that we were very happy to get students’ voices on what they wanted to see and do,” said Wu.
Wu noted that his committee encountered challenges in securing the headline artist this year as the iHeartRadio Music festival, an annual two-day festival held in Las Vegas showcasing some of the world’s well-established musicians, falls on the same weekend as Lawnparties. Consequently, a few artists who had been corresponding with Wu’s committee over the summer ultimately could not accommodate the event in their schedule.
“I’m very excited with who we eventually ended up getting,” Wu said. “Nate is very energetic.”
With the remaining budget, the Social Committee selected Holychild from a pool of four. Wu explained that Holychild’s style and energy closely matched with Nate Ruess’s.
“After we contacted Holychild, they ended up meeting together with Nate Ruess,” Wu said. “Nate Ruess really liked their energy and so ended up booking a couple more days with them later in the year.”
According to Wu, this year’s fall Lawnparties required a budget comparable to that of spring. USG president Ella Cheng ’16 had requested a $79,000 budget for the spring Lawnparties. In comparison, Yale appropriates around $180,000 for its equivalent function.
Cheng is a former staff writer for The Daily Princetonian.
Though Fun. and Nate Ruess had been involved in “Campus Consciousness Tour,” a project in which a coalition of artists gives headliner performances in support of environmental awareness, Wu stated that the nature of Ruess’s Lawnparties show will be different. The Social Committee is currently negotiating with Ruess’s agent to finalize the programs.
Lawnparties will take place on Sunday, Sept. 20.