fun. joined the chorus of artists saddened by the death of Beastie Boys‘ MC Adam Yauch, honoring the late music pioneer with a (one-verse) cover of the Beasties’ modern classic “Sabotage”. fun., riding high on the ascent of “We Are Young”, busted out the unexpected tribute as part of their encore in a performance at Washington D.C.’s 9:30 Club (one of a limited number of dates they’ll play before appearing at Lollapalooza). The show took place the night that Yauch died last week, and with fun.’s Nate Ruess on vocals, the band managed a passable impression of the real thing.
As with Coldplay’s cover of “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)”, “Sabotage” isn’t the sort of song we’d expected to hear from the band behind the anthemic, soaring “We Are Young”. Then again, fun. does cite a surprising diversity of influences (in a recent SPIN interview, Ruess shouted out Queen, alt-rock titans Smashing Pumpkins, Van Morrison and Kanye West’s acclaimed My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which of course was largely produced by Jeff Bhasker, the whiz behind fun.’s own chart-topping hit).
Fans at Friday night’s show tweeted that the band busted out the Beastie Boys tribute at the start of their encore. fun. hasn’t shied away from covering major artists — the night before Yauch died, the band rocked the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and a jokey stab at Santana’s hit “Smooth” at the same Washington D.C. venue. (You can hear them on the NPR webcast of the May 3 show).