I’ve been gushing about Fall Out Boy’s return from its indefinite hiatus since the band announced it had returned in early February. FOB has a new album, three new music videos, and several tour dates scheduled throughout the upcoming year.
Last night (Sunday, May 26), I was lucky enough to see my forever boys perform at the House of Blues in Boston. It was my second time seeing FOB live — the first was when I saw the band open for blink-182 (on their reunion tour) in 2009. The first time I saw them, it was in an arena filled with 20,000 people. I was right next to the stage and I’d already lost my voice from singing along to the first opener, Panic! at the Disco.
The show at the House of Blues was totally different. The venue was smaller and for the first time, I was in the stadium seats on the third floor rather than on the floor, either in the pit or on the side of it. But I still had a great view of the band and I still felt incredibly close to the stage — House of Blues has a capacity of 2,000+, but it still feels very small and somewhat intimate.
AR went with me, and it was their first time seeing FOB live. Both of us were practically vibrating with excitement by the time the boys finally took the stage — and we we both lost our voices just a few songs into the 90-minute set.
The band played an incredible mix of old and new material, including classic tracks from 2003’s Take This to Your Grave and 2005’s From Under the Cork Tree. The selection of songs played from the new album, Save Rock & Roll, was unexpected and amazing. Not only did the band play the singles, but also the title track (which had everyone going nuts during the encore, despite the slow speed of the song) and several high-energy tracks that were kick-ass live.
Lead singer Patrick Stump said at the beginning of the set that he was on the verge of losing his voice, but it was impossible to tell. His vocal range was still off the charts, and I didn’t notice any more requests for the audience to sing than I can recall from seeing FOB in 2009 (or any other band at any other time, really). As usual, bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz did most of the talking. Guitarist Joe Trohman was silent but energetic and drummer Andy Hurley made one terrible joke (that I can’t remember now), but otherwise stuck to his kit.
It was so, so, so wonderful to see these boys on stage again. When I saw the band in 2009, it was a dream come true. I’ve been listening to FOB since I was a freshman in high school (meaning I’ve been listening to them for nearly a decade — wow). When the band went on an “indefinite hiatus” shortly after I saw them open for blink-182, I was devastated. Usually “indefinite hiatus” means “break-up” in the world of music (though that hasn’t been the case with several of my faves, thank goodness).
In February, when FOB announced its return, the message on the band’s website read, “this isn’t a reunion because we never broke up.” At no point has that been clearer to me than last night. Fall Out Boy is just as together as the band has ever been — maybe even more so. The three-year break they took from performing as FOB to work on solo and side projects, start families, and otherwise not be on tour all the time playing pop-punk shows clearly revived all four of them.
What stood out to me about FOB in 2009 was that they looked so grateful to be on stage, playing music and having a bunch of screaming kids, teenagers and twenty-somethings singing along to all of the songs. The same thing stood out to me at last night’s show. Despite being on the edge of losing his voice, Stump still ran around and danced and sang with all his heart. Wentz, Trohman and Hurley still poured such an incredible amount of energy into the performance that I could feel it all the way up on the third floor.
I had an indescribable time seeing Fall Out Boy (again). I probably should mention that the opening band, NK, put on a solid performance as well (though the highlight was definitely when Trohman joined them onstage for a handful of songs). I just had a hard time paying close attention to their set, because I was all full of butterflies and anticipation for my favorite band.
Fall Out Boy will be back in New England this fall, with Panic! at the Disco opening the show. It’ll be another arena performance — and I’m planning to buy tickets as soon as I’m able. FOB is back and I plan to take as much advantage of that fact as I can, just in case another hiatus is in the future. (I really hope there isn’t.)