My tutor hit the nail right on the head when he said that, in his experience, many music lovers my age come from a pop-punk, Kerrang! type of background. Not only do I know many people who do, I myself am one of them.
So naturally, when my housemate asked me if we should go and see Fall Out Boy, I wholeheartedly agreed.
Even though the SSE Arena, situated next to the Wembley Arena, is the third-largest indoor concert venue in London, Fall Out Boy had to add another show on Monday to the already existing date on Sunday, which was completely and utterly sold out.
The Monday show did not quite meet that standard, but the crowd was no less excited and passionate.
With three support acts, entertaining the crowd from 7:00 to 9:20, there was relatively little time to be bored. Charley Marley, a UK alternative artist signed to Pete Wentz’ label DCD2, and Matt & Kim were a more obvious choice than rapper Professor Green, who inspired less excitement than American Idiot playing during the little break, inspiring an impromptu singalong in the crowd.
When the lights went out there was deafening screaming drowning out the well-constructed story element of the video that was showing, leading up to the intro song Sugar, We’re Going Down.
This choice of song seems, to me, very telling of how the band perceives their success. Despite their recent radio and pop music successes like The Phoenix or Uma Thurman, they chose the song that marked their first major breakthrough.
That’s what seems to me to be the most refreshing thing. Despite having been a band for 15 years next year, they still know their fans. They know what older and newer fans want to hear and still have a great appreciation for the people who come to their shows. This especially apparent in the split between pre-hiatus (albums like From Under the Cork Tree, Infinity on High, Folie á Deux, Believers Never Die) and post-hiatus songs from Save Rock’n’Roll and American Beauty/American Psycho, which is almost 50:50.
Despite most of their older fans having grown out of their angsty teen phase, it’s still nice to hear that Fall Out Boy did not “change your lives”, they were just the “cherry on top.”
The acoustic part of the show, when Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz and Joe Trohman made their way to the sound and light booth in the middle of the floor not only gave the experience and personal touch but also presented Andy Hurley with the chance to show of his drumming skills, performing a mash-up of the Game of Thrones theme and other hits like Mercy and Trap Queen. Pete Wentz sullenly looked out into the crowd while they performed the Big Hero 6 song Immortals and Young Volcanoes.
For the price, they offered a great 90-minute experience, playing 23 songs with relatively little time talking to the audience. Having been performing for 14 years, they are now excelling at their craft, with the only critical point being, that it was overall a little too loud to describe it as a good or pleasant experience. One must, however, take into account the hundreds of fans singing out every single world, sometimes almost drowning out Patrick Stump himself.
Fall Out Boy has been and probably almost always will be more of an emotional experience than a strictly musical one.