Best Arena-Ready Band: Bleachers
With fun. announcing that they're on hiatus while its members pursue solo projects, there's a hole in the musical ecosystem for a high-energy, candy-colored pop-rock band. Who better to fill it, then, than Jack Antonoff, fun.'s lead guitarist? His side project Bleachers released their debut Strange Desire last year — and judging by a string of SXSW gigs, Antonoff is now ready to take the band to the next level.
We caught them at the tiny Uproxx House, where they powered through seven of their own songs plus a cover of Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It." Although their bassist stood out by seemingly taking fashion cues from tennis star Bjorn Borg (neatly trimmed beard, headband), and Antonoff was jumping all over the place and trading riffs with his saxophonist, the star of the show was the songwriting. Antonoff's compositions are carefully constructed like a microchip or a Holland-Dozier-Holland tune. By the time the band reached the final song, "I Wanna Get Better," it seemed clear that Bleachers make a big enough noise to fill arenas. Resistance is futile.