With Fall Out Boy nearly finished with the UK part of their European tour, reviews of the shows are pouring in filled with praise, awe and the lingering buzz of an awesome show. Well, this blog post is full of all that but with a twist. I can guarantee you very few, if any, people experienced seeing Fall Out Boy quite like I did. I never thought the first time I would hear one of my favourite bands live would be from another room.
After buying tickets months ago, I had been on an ever-climbing hype until March 28th when Fall Out Boy would be playing at the Motorpoint Arena. Finally, the day arrived and with eyes and nails glittering purple and a day of drinking along to a FOB playlist, myself and two friends made our way to the arena. Unfortunately, we missed most of the opening support act, MAX, but were in time to catch the entirety of Against the Current’s set. The band had a musical captivation akin to Nightwish and an enthusiastic energy as if they were headlining and perfectly set the tone of anticipation. It was during this air of anticipation that things began to go a little awry among my trio.
Purposely buying standing tickets to be in the thick of the crowd meant we didn’t have the clearest view of the stage and people were only continuing to move in. Time ticked on and the crowd were growing more restless and anxiously began pushing closer until there was barely a breath of space left between any of us. The last breath was swept from my friend as she collapsed directly into my arms after expressing a worry of feeling like she was going to throw up. Despite the panic I felt for her, it was a moment that proved concert crowds are not the faceless, unruly mass some fear them to be. A handful of people were quick to help whilst everyone else made sure to clear a path for us to exit the crowd. One person even went so far as to practically scream for a medic loud enough for the entire arena to hear and I am grateful for their quick reaction because it meant a medic was soon with us and helping us manoeuvre my friend out of the crowd and toward a room where she could be seen to. The medics on hand were amazing and tended to my friend with an attentiveness that helped her recover from her moment of dizziness.
With worry for my friend almost causing me to forget where I was the thundering beat of ‘The Phoenix’ shook the room as Fall Out Boy took to the stage. Patrick Stump demanded the crowd ‘put on your war paint’ and that’s exactly what my friend did, assuring the medics she was fine and getting right back out there in time for the band’s second song ‘Irresistible.’ Our view from just outside the door of the medic’s room was perfect and provided the almost overwhelming experience I knew seeing Fall Out Boy would be. The show was a spectacular combination of bursting confetti, roaring pyrotechnics and a gravity defying performance – literally. During ‘Dance, Dance’ and ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’ Fall Out Boy moved from the main stage to two platforms that suspended them above the crowd, giving those up on the balconies the same personal performance those at the front of the crowd received.
Fall Out Boy took us all on a journey through their discoverography, playing songs from Take This to Your Grave through Infinity on High right up to MANIA. The show was transporting for a long-time fan like myself, giving timeless performances of ‘Hum Hallelujah’ and ‘Where Is Your Boy Tonight’ and hitting hard with the nostalgia through ‘Sugar, We’re Going Down’ and ‘This Ain’t a Scene, It’s An Arms Race.’ Patrick treated the crowd to his Elton John impersonation during ‘Save Rock and Roll’, only missing an ostentatious outfit and oversized glasses to complete the illusion. Pete Wentz even managed to have one of his own wishes granted by receiving a Tesco beanie from a fan in the crowd – something he had expressed a desire for via Twitter – and wore it during a few songs. The influence of the MANIA Tour Project was present through purple lights glowing in the crowd during a piano rendition of ‘Young and Menace’, unifying fans even further. The night was completed with ‘Saturday’, giving one last euphoric rush with Pete snatching a microphone and working those screamo vocals early Fall Out Boy albums would have been incomplete without.
The concert was nothing like I could have expected for a variety of reasons but mainly because Fall Out Boy proved why they have been such a beloved band for so many years. Creating a supportive fanbase who are always willing to help each other when finding a fellow fan in distress.
Tour dates: https://falloutboy.com/tour
Previous Fall Out Boy posts:
Review by Skye W. Winwood