Spraining your foot is a hell of a way to start the day.
But when Fall Out Boy (a band you’ve listened to for over half your life,) only has one Florida tour date, you power through it. As I limped through the Amalie Arena to my seat, I wondered how badly the pain was going to affect my enjoyment. After all, one doesn’t merely sit at a FOB show. Before I could ponder long on this thought, the monitor spanning across the stage suddenly turned on –
I see a video of purple waves, their tide slowly building up.”
00:03, 00:02, 00:01
PLEASE PUT AWAY YOUR PHONES, the screen stated.
The next thing I hear is the sound of a dozen string instruments playing throughout the room.
PUT ON YOUR WAR PAINT!”
An elevator built in the stage’s floor slowly began rising, carrying the band with it. The band stared straight into the crowd, the intense looks on their faces shouting, “Everything is okay. We’re here to save your night.” Flames blazed behind the band, each blast of fire shooting in unison with the synth. I yelled from the top of my lungs. Fall Out Boy had arrived, and boy, did they know how to make an entrance.
Frontman Patrick Stump’s vocals are vastly underated, especially when compared to today’s popular singers. From the long high note he held during “The Phoenix,” to channeling his inner Elton John during the piano-heavy “Save Rock and Roll,” to the RnB inspired falsetto he’s become known for over the years – Stump managed to set fire and ignite the crowd with every word which passed through his lips. During “The Last of The Real Ones,” Stump would calmly multi-task between playing the piano and singing, only to leap out of his seat during the song’s chorus, bursting with energy as he would dance down the catwalk. It was incredible to see bassist Pete Wentz bounce across the stage, keeping in perfect timing with guitarist Joe Trohman.
The two of them took turns running down the walkway built for this performance, hyping up the crowd. There was no hesitation in their playing – everything just flowed naturally as if they were breathing. Trohman didn’t slack off at all during the show, showing off his guitaskills during “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” and briefly took over as the main vocalist during “Hum Hallelujah.” Meanwhile, drummer Andy Hurley showed off his drumming skills during a mash-up of various songs, which included Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” and Blur’s “Song 2,” before seamlessly transitioning into “Dance, Dance’s” famous drum beat.
While I continued to grow more and more satisfied with the band’s performance as the night went on, they were not; they wanted to up the ante.
And they did.
As the band began to play “Dance Dance,” the miniature stages they stood on at the rear of the arena began to rise into the air, held up by chains. Wentz and Stump stood in the front stage, with Hurley and Trohman on the rear one. Within minutes all four of them were at least 40 feet in air, playing down to an eager audience. Watching the band play “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” from that height is such a surreal feeling – despite being seated in the mid-section during the show, in those moments I felt that same rush they probably felt being that high above the crowd. Adrenaline rushed through my veins. I no longer felt the pain in my foot which had been hindering me all day.
However, in spite of the high energy and excitement emitting from the crowd, you could feel the disappointment which M A N I A, the band’s upcoming album, was put on the back burner until next year. About halfway through the show, Wentz took a quick breather to address this topic.
We want to thank you guys for being so patient with the album…we aren’t expecting this to be your album of the year or for it to be a major album. We just want to put out something personal for you guys to enjoy.”
The band resumed the show, performing songs from the upcoming album, including a short, but beautiful stripped down piano performance of “Young and Menace” and “Expensive Mistakes,” a song yet to be released worldwide. Based on what I heard, I honestly would say that the wait is absolutely worth it.
Blackbear and nothing, nowhere didn’t just fan the flames of energy that Fall Out Boy generated – they dosed it with gasoline. Both artists helped to emphasize the point that Fall Out Boy has tried to make for years – they’re not a one trick pony; they’re constantly evolving their sound and are inspired by the artists they work with. Fresh off his “Digital Overlord” tour, Blackbear captured the crowds’ attention with “Idfc.” By the time he got to performing “do re mi,” the crowd was eating out of the palm of his hands. nothing, nowhere on the other hand, was perhaps the biggest surprise of the show. Despite being his first night on the “M A N I A” tour, nothing, nowhere did an incredible job.
While the screen at the end of the night may have said “The End,” everyone in the arena knew it was far from it. Fall Out Boy wasn’t going anywhere. So yeah, one night and one more time – thanks for the memories, Fall Out Boy. They were great.
The Last of a Dying Breed: Fall Out Boy Live Review & Photos by James Strassberger
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