Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, Twenty One Pilots Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion September 25, 2013
For many of their fans, a Fall Out Boy concert is most likely the kind of thing that has always been experienced in the darkest, dirtiest clubs that a city can offer. It's synonymous with ringing ears, crowded dance floors, spilled beer and the feeling of peeling off soaking-wet skinny jeans at the end of the night.
Wednesday evening, however, would redefine what it meant to go to a Fall Out Boy concert.
The evening kicked off early as the duo better known as Twenty One Pilots took the stage before the sun set. Within their allotted time, the group, which blends hip-hop, electronica, folk and indie-rock, pumped the crowd up with songs from their self-titled debut, Twenty One Pilots, as well as their recent album, Vessel.
Energy-wise, photographer Jim Bricker said it best when he tweeted that Twenty One Pilots are "gonna be big soon, in that Matt and Kim festival way."
Shortly after their set, an all-black banner went up with silver, glittering letters announcing Panic! At the Disco were merely minutes away, but when they emerged, they were almost unrecognizable.
In the past, the band had a reputation of being "metrosexual showmen" due to their baroque emo-pop and former costume choices. But time is a funny thing, and it's done nothing but favors to the group of men whose polished style has gone from questionable and campy to fashion forward. (Though there were some glittering silver pants that are up for debate.)
The group powered through new and old fan favorites from "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" and "Nine In the Afternoon," before teaseing newer material, "This Is Gospel" and "Miss Jackson," which some fans already knew.
One issue that did arise, however, was the fact that the large stage seemed to detract from Panic! At the Disco's performance enough to make it seem as though the crowd was simply watching the concert rather than experiencing it.
Regardless, they found a way to go out with a bang when they performed their first (and biggest) single, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" to a crowd that knew all the words.
Slowly, seats began to fill up as the crowd anticipated Fall Out Boy's arrival, and luckily, fans didn't have to wait long.
Review continues on the next page.
Once the lights went out, a white curtain that had loomed over the stage all evening began blinking red. As soon as it dropped, the men of Fall Out Boy ran onstage wearing all black with black ski masks as they jumped straight into "The Phoenix."
The masks then came off for two older hits, "I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy[...]" and "A Little Less Sixteen Candles[...]" and Fall Out Boy proved that their sound was large enough to fill the venue.
As the men worked through the next few songs, guitarist Joe Trohman and bassist Pete Wentz could both be seen running back and forth across the stage, and at times even flipping over the ramps that led up the black, cage-like platform where drummer Andy Hurley was playing.
Even singer and guitarist, Patrick Stump, seemed to be more open onstage when compared to his past stage presence.
It's clear that, despite a few timing issues, Fall Out Boy found it easier to transition out of intimate clubs and into arenas. It's not an easy thing to do, and no amount of touring or festival experience will guarantee that a band can pull it off. Still, despite their recent hiatus, Fall Out Boy managed.
Of course, they had a little help.
There were video montages, which showed colorful punks in love during "Alone Together" and a desert during "Death Valley," as well as official Fall Out Boy beach balls, Wentz's in-guitar camera, and glow in the dark instruments.
Halfway through the set, Stump sat down at a piano to perform a cover of Drake's "Hold On We're Going Home" before Panic! At the Disco's Brendon Urie came out to help the band perform "What A Catch, Donnie."
Next, the band queued up Iggy Pop's iconic interview with Peter Gzowski as Stump, Wentz and Trohman made their way to a second stage, which was set up in the back of the arena near the sound booth.
At the time, the band played acoustic versions of "I'm Like a Lawyer[...]" and "Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy," while the crowd moved around to stand in aisles and on top of chairs for better viewing before Hurley's drum solo gave them a chance to get back on stage.
It was then that Wentz revealed that the reason Fall Out Boy denied writing material for their most recent release, Save Rock and Roll, was because the band "wanted to make a record [they] believed in, and were proud of."
"It was sacred to us, and we wanted to protect it," said Wentz. "You see, people in pop culture are airbrushed beyond recognition, or auto tuned to where you wonder when they'll turn into a fucking robot. So we wanted to make a record that asked, 'Is that the best you've fucking got?' because we can take it."
It was a bold statement, but it made sense.
Review continues on the next page.
You see, for all of the things Fall Out Boy has been labeled in the past, they haven't really been seen for what they are - intelligent men who want to use the microphone as more than a way to hear themselves speak louder.
I'm not saying they're the best act out there. Hell, I even scoffed when I heard their album name. But the truth is that they know what they're doing when it comes to writing music, and the only thing I'd change about them is how long their song titles are.
Overheard In The Crowd: "They're short as hell!" - heard during Fall Out Boy
The Crowd: A mixture of high-school and college-aged "punks."
Random Notebook Dump: These guys are a lot more attractive without makeup on.
The Phoenix I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy [...] A Little Less Sixteen Candles [...] This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race Alone Together Thriller Death Valley Sugar, We're Goin Down Young Volcanoes Hold On We're Going Home (Drake Cover) What A Catch, Donnie 20-Dollar Nosebleed I'm Like a Lawyer [...] Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy Dance, Dance Just One Yesterday I Don't Care My Songs Know What You Did [...] Save Rock And Roll Thnks fr th Mmrs (sic) Saturday
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