LIVE REVIEW + PHOTOS: Fall Out Boy @ TD Garden 10.27.17
Those of us who have been around long enough to remember Fall Out Boy’s reign as the kings of emo, probably wouldn’t initially think of them as a band that bridges a gap between generations. However, one trip to a Fall Out Boy live show would prove different.
On Friday night in Boston the ages of the fans in attendance stretched fairly wide, ranging from single digit aged children, to adults over 30. Now this is of course the case for a lot of bands, but with Fall Out Boy it’s a bit different. The “pre-hiatus” Fall Out Boy fans (2001-2009) were the loudest during 00’s anthems like “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” “Dance, Dance,” and “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs,” Three songs, that if you were even generally aware of popular music in the 2000’s you probably know by heart. While the post-hiatus fans (2013-present) were much more enthralled by cuts like “Centuries,” “Uma Thurman,” and “Irresistible.” To their credit, even most of the younger fans recognized the big 00’s songs like the three I mentioned. But as the show came to a close on Friday night, Fall Out Boy finished their encore the way they always have, by playing “Saturday” from their debut album, “Take This To Your Grave” which was released in 2003. This song has traditionally been the song the band ends every show with. But a glance around the arena during the songs would reveal a lot of confused young faces.
There’s an entire generation of Fall Out Boy fans who know nothing of that dark era between 2009 and 2013 that the group did not exist. Now, artists that span generations are nothing new, The Rolling Stones are well onto their 4th generation of fans now, but what’s a little different here, is that the fans all come together as one. We’ve all met that guy at a concert who comes up to you when you’re young, and tells you “you don’t know what this band was like in MY day!” with that elitist smirk on their face. There’s none of that when it comes to Fall Out Boy. Older Fall Out Boy fans are happy to share their band with the younger generation.
For Fall Out Boy, the scenario is by far a ‘best-case.’ Managing to hold onto the 13-15 and 16-20 popular music age demographics in two decades is something few bands achieve. In fact, most of the ones that have achieved that regularly play arenas and stadiums now. But Fall Out Boy have mastered the art of re-invention, as well as having their finger on the pulse of everything their fans want.
Fall Out Boy have never been bigger than they are now, and of course that’s due in part to the loyal fans who’ve followed them since their days in Chicago basements. But equally accountable are the fans who can sing every word of “Alone Together” off the top of their head. Keeping their sound relevant to the times has been a big part of that, but so has their live show. Ever since Fall Out Boy really hit their stride in 2007, the group has constantly been one of the toughest tickets to get every time they’re in town.
On Friday night, the show had everything you want from a rock show, pyrotechnics, moving stages, a drum solo and even folks dressed in llama costumes firing off t-shirt cannons. – Okay maybe that last one is just me – but the point across is that Fall Out Boy have done a stellar job in the last two decades remaining relevant. They’re able to blend genres, bridge generations and put on a nearly perfect live show. In fact, the band’s lone misfire on Friday evening was the ill-conceived video montage featuring Princess Diana’s life, car accident death, and funeral during the song Champion that also united fans, this time in confusion. But it was a minor hiccup in an otherwise stellar live show.
Fall Out Boy has maintained the same lineup since they released their first album, “Take This to Your Grave” in 2003. The lineup has long consisted of Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman, and Andy Hurley. Wentz writes most of the lyrics, while Stump uses his stellar vocal range to give the songs extra flair. Harmonies from Trohman and Hurley as well as their skill on their instruments make the band a well oiled machine.
Achieving sustained success over two decades is something that is incredibly difficult to achieve as a popular music act, tastes change, times change, genres change. There are a million factors in what keeps a band going over time and managing to hit the right notes on every one of them is pretty hard. But right now, nearly two full decades into their career, Fall Out Boy are doing it better than most.
Photos – Fall Out Boy, Blackbear, Jaden Smith at TD Garden 10/27/17:
Fall Out Boy’s M A N I A Tour Continues on Thursday at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, VA, full dates can be found below:
November 2nd – Fairfax, VA @ EagleBank Arena
November 3rd – Charlotte, NC @ Spectrum Center
November 4th – Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
November 5th – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
November 7th – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
November 8th – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
November 10th – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
November 12th – Seattle, WA @ KeyArena
November 14th – Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
November 15th – San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena
November 17th – Inglewood, CA @ The Forum
November 18th – Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena