The Scene: A line equal parts teenager and twenty-something wrapped well around the corner of Colfax and Emerson as the doors opened for Fall Out Boy at the Ogden Theatre. Many, like myself, went for the nostalgia of seeing the Pop-Punk four-piece for the first time in years. Fresh off of a three-year hiatus, Fall Out Boy’s return to music brought a little something for both old fans and new.
Opener: New Politics. With a piercing eruption of screams and applause, Denmark’s New Politics took the stage in front of a room that had sold-out several months in advance. The energetic three-piece had fans, especially the ladies, singing and dancing their whole set – always impressive for an opener. Frontman David Boyd took inventory of the ladies by requesting and receiving a loud burst of screams followed by swimming atop arms into the middle of the pit and standing completely upright on fan’s palms during “Fall Into These Arms.” A highlight of their performance was Boyd’s crazy break dancing and ability to stir the crowd up. A strong set came to a close with the rapped vocals and loud shouting on “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” to a huge crowd response.
Fall Out Boy: In a moment instantly reminiscent of high school, sweaty X’ed hands rose above the barrier to the chanting of “Fall – Out – Boy!” At the pinnacle of the chanting, the boys, having hardly aged in the last twelve years, ran out to ear piercing screams. Having not listened to the band in over half a decade, much of the evening’s material was foreign to me, but I was in the minority as everyone around me sang along with every song.
Highlights early on were jolts down memory lane with “A Little Less Sixteen Candles…” & “This Ain’t a Scene…” which fostered much larger crowd responses than material from their more recent albums. I had forgotten was how remarkably loud these shows were back in the day. Shrill guitars drowned vocals and made it pretty hard to distinguish much. It left my ears ringing well into the following day. The high water mark came with the fan favorite “Grand Theft Autumn” which was accompanied by a backdrop of old handbills from that era. A close second in fan reaction was “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” which singer Patrick Stump joked was “a standard.”
The band ran around the stage, hopping up onto platforms and having the same energy as the first time I saw them nearly 10 years ago. At one point bass player Pete Wentz, who stayed much more in the background than he once would have, shared that their return to music was to reconnect with people who feel like outsiders, because that’s why they got into music in the first place. The fans roared at this notion, but it seemed like a boilerplate Pop-Punk statement to me. The band ended the set with the single from 2013’s Save Rock and Roll, “My Songs Know What You Did in The Dark.” After much screaming, the title track of Save Rock and Roll kicked off the encore backed by images of music icons through the years. The rotating images of Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, and Biggie kind of gave off the same kitschy vibe of a Bob Marley poster in a college dorm room. Something just felt a little corny about it. The band said that the evening’s show had been one of their favorite of the tour and that that “wasn’t just lip service.” The show ended with two favorites “Thnks fr th Mmrs” and “Saturday” with Pete Wentz jumping into the crowd and screaming into the microphone.
In a search for nostalgia, I came up a bit short, but that was only due to my lack of familiarity with their newer material. The crowd energy, stage presence and music were enjoyable and just as I remembered, but the maturation of my musical tastes may have stolen the potential for me to ever really get that same Fall Out Boy experience I had in high school ever again. That being said, they put on a hell of a show for their fans, who ate up every song. I even heard a younger fan say, “Wow, I’ve never been moved to tears by a show before.”
Stage Presence: A
Set/Light Show: A