Fun. Open MTV Movie Awards With Widescreen ‘We Are Young’

Janelle Monae joins the band onstage for epic performance.

Fun. have a history with MTV awards shows, though it mostly has to do with a 14-year-old Jack Antonoff sitting near the Spice Girls . But, thanks to the 2012 MTV Movie Awards, you get the feeling they’ll be rewriting history pretty soon.

Because not only did Fun. get the chance to kick off the show, but they did it in grand style, with a heartfelt performance of their breakout hit “We Are Young” — one that was nearly as full of energy as it was with genuine awestruck glee.

They began pounding away in a tiny red-lit cube, dressed in natty white tuxedoes, with frontman Nate Ruess bounding back and forth in the enclosed space as the assembled celebrities stood and gaped (for the record, Vanilla Ice was totally into it). Eventually, as the song grew to its now-commonplace chorus, Ruess stepped out of the cube, and the entire room was suddenly singing along with him. At that widescreen moment, Janelle Monáe herself strutted onto the scene, much to the delight of the adoring audience.

Monáe met Ruess in the middle of the stage, and the two traded verses and embraced. Then, clearly feeling the energy of the moment, Ruess bounded back to his bandmates and brought the song home, clearly gassed at the end, but also basking in the moment. The performance ended with the frontman licking his lips and cracking a huge smile, because he knew they’d pulled the whole thing off.

As far as awards-show openers go, this one was pretty epic. Historic? Maybe — though you get the feeling it’s already earned that distinction from the guys in Fun.

The 2012 MTV Movie Awards are officially under way! Stick with MTV News for minute-by-minute coverage, and don’t forget to go to MovieAwards.MTV.com to cast your vote for Best Movie!