Fall Out Boy's Smallest Houston Show of 2015 Is All Killer

Mix 96.5 Not So Silent Night
With Rob Thomas, Fall Out Boy, The Band Berry, etc.
Revention Music Center
December 16, 2k15

Radio shows are odd ducks. You either get shows that are a radio-branded version of an already existing touring show or you get a bunch of random acts thrown on a bill because they happened to be available on a certain date. It makes for strange bedfellows, or at least unlikely headliner/opener combos.

That Fall Out Boy would end up at the Not So Silent Night shouldn’t really be a surprise, though. While it would be a stretch to say it’s been an odd year for the band in Houston, it hasn’t exactly been a traditional one. Their first trip to town involved them playing in front of 70,000-plus at the Rodeo, and the second saw them sharing a bill with Wiz Khalifa up in The Woodlands. So, really, maybe it was less interesting they were opening for Rob Thomas and more interesting that they were playing such a small building in the city.

By this point in the year, at this part of the American Psycho/American Beauty promo run, Fall Out Boy has managed to build what is effectively a perfect 45-minute set devoid of any fat. Sure, you’re not going to hear “Grand Theft Autumn” this time around, but playing the opening slot of a radio show means keeping things short, sweet and familiar for the casuals in the audience.

And it does work. “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs” are still instantly familiar classics, and everything they’re playing off their last two records is crowd pleasers no matter if the crowd is 3,000 or 70,000-plus. Old FOB and new FOB may feel worlds away on record, but live, their greatest-hits package feels completely compatible.

As cool as it would be, the odds of any of us seeing FOB in a Fitz-size room again are pretty slim. It’s a dream you have inside a pipe dream. So yeah, only getting 45 minutes and having to sit through some acts that may not appeal to you is maybe a bummer, but to see the band do their thing and kill it on such a small stage is worth it.

It’s like listening to music on the radio, really. Sometimes you have to sit through the stuff you don’t care about to get to the song you do. And when the songs are as good as what Fall Out Boy have in their arsenal, it’s worth the wait.

So, How Was the Headliner? It’s a bummer that his songs are so pedestrian, because watching him in between songs, it’s obvious that Rob Thomas has charisma. The dude is at ease onstage, knows how to control a crowd and comes off as an incredibly likable person when he’s not singing his brand of mom-rock. But if he’s your thing, I totally understand why you’d stay out late on a school night to see him. His cover of “Let’s Dance,” however, is bad, bad times.

So, How Were the Openers? The Band Perry is an interesting beast. They are talented singers with an interesting, more theatrical than you might guess stage presence who are hampered by odd songwriting choices. They played a new song called “Put Me In the Game” that was like John Fogerty’s “Centerfield” loaded up on steroids and a steady diet of Jock Jams. It was weird to hear it on the same bill as Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries,” which actually works as a jock jam without being a Jock Jam (you get my meaning). Still, they weren’t bad – their singles are solid enough – but I think I’d rather see them try a country concept record rather than trying to write a pandering anthem. That or go all in on their death obsession and become a country-goth band.

Personal Bias: “Immortals” is the best song from a Marvel movie.

The Crowd: Judging from the chatter around me, there were a lot of folks in the crowd who don’t make it out to concerts on the regular. Good for them for getting out on a Wednesday.

Overheard in the Crowd: “All the young people are leaving,” said someone on what happened after Fall Out Boy left the stage.

Random Notebook Dump: I had grand plans to talk about Jamie Lawson since I didn’t get to when he was in town with Ed Sheeran, but I ended up missing his set thanks to traffic and a long line to get into the venue and miscommunication on when this show started. Sorry, Jamie, I don’t know why fate conspires against me, but I’m sure you were a delight like you were last time.

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