Fall Out Boy
Gym Class Heroes, Plain White T’s, Cute is What We Aim For
Philadelphia, PA • November 13, 2007
Fall Out Boy. Say those three little words and you’ll get a range of opinions from people. Some may say that they’ve helped the scene with their contribution of pop-rock hits that can be as annoying as they are catchy. Some will refute that statement, instead offering the exact opposite response. Regardless of where you stand on them, one cannot say that the Chicago quartet has failed to imprint their name on the music scene.
With the release of their latest album, Infinity on High, Fall Out Boy decided it was time to hit the road to promote, promote, promote. Joining them for the Young Wild Things Tour were Gym Class Heroes, Plain White T’s and Cute is What We Aim For.
The tour hit Philadelphia on November 13, barely filling the Wachovia Spectrum. While the pit was packed, bare seats loomed overhead of the massive stage.
Arriving five minutes past starting time, I took my seat, as Cute is What We Aim For was on stage. Having no clue who the band was at the time (nor able to remember that other band on the bill), I struggled to look for one song that would clue me in to the band’s identity. Yet, the New York emo band failed to help me out. They played approximately four songs, all of which seemed to draw a huge response from the crowd (and when I say crowd, I mean teenagers). The band went off without even reminding the crowd of themselves (so much for that idea).
Up next were the Plain White T’s. The Chicago indie rockers recently found success with their last release, Every Second Counts. The band and their music were featured on the ABC Family show, “Greek.” Then there is that one little song, “Hey There Delilah,” which has practically taken on a life of its own. The band came out and while they were a bit more of a mellow feel than the rest of the bands, they were able to perform that song, as well as the rest of the crowd favorites. It was as if they were a palate cleanser that was subtle, yet still enjoyable to one’s taste.
Gym Class Heroes were up next. Having known a few of their hits, I clearly know that Patrick Stump just so happens to make a guest appearance on two of their tracks. However, the band opened with “Cupid’s Chokehold,” with no sight of Patrick Stump at all. As I stood there, the vocals of the chorus sounded slightly like Patrick’s, but after a few moments of listening, I–and the rest of the audience–seemed to give up hope on that idea.
Meanwhile, parents in the pit (and I use that term loosely, as it was anything but), seemed eager to leave, while their children pumped their fists and screamed over every moment that Travis, the lead singer, made. At one point, he decided to go past the barriers and started to walk up and down the main aisle, causing people in the pit and the bleachers to make a quick break towards the singer. As the fold-up chairs started to topple slightly in my row, I felt a bit eager for Travis to make his way back to the stage, as quickly as possible.
At one point, Travis went to reach out to the parents, trying to include them into the show. He pointed out that the children (though he had his own “adoring” terms for them) should respect their parents and then launched into a song about some kind of sexual experience. As much as I wasn’t a fan of GCH prior, their live show was bursting with enough energy to entertain for days. The band ended with their latest single, “Clothes Off.” Yes, during the chorus, Stump made his appearance, which drove the crowd to a new extreme; it would only grow more deafening as the next act ensued.
Fall Out Boy. Ever since they emerged with their Island/Def Jam debut, From Under the Cork Tree, the guys have been MTV regulars and have graced the airwaves and the pages of many magazines. With the ongoing controversies and the witty lyrics, the quartet has gone from an underground favorite to a mainstream necessity. Prior to the concert, older fans were flabbergasted that I was going to see them, insisting on the fact that they were nothing but a studio band. While they weren’t the worst thing I had ever seen live, I must say that there is some truth to that statement. They lacked that certain charisma and charm, that energetic quality that comes across…well, on their CDs and through their videos. However, I seemed to be the only one to mind. The crowd was eating up every last word that Wentz said. Six fans started a circle pit amid the parents and young teenagers; once it stopped, Wentz had one of their crew members help start it back up.
As the band played their songs mostly (and surprisingly) off of From Under the Cork Tree and a few new favorites from Infinity on High, a visual presentation played in the background, portraying the band members as characters from the book, ‘Where the Wild Things Are,” which is another controversy gracing news websites. While the visual presentation was skillfully crafted, it was too big of a distraction; at times, I found myself more intrigued in the Fall Out Boy visuals than the band itself. Another over the top tactic was the pyrotechnics that were used during the show. While it was great the first time (and even the second and third), it grew old really fast.
An intriguing part of the night was the cover song that the band chose to play–“Mr. Brightside,” by the Killers. Does anyone remember that controversy? I do! If you’re unfamiliar, The Killers and Fall Out Boy had a bit of a verbal altercation; Panic! at the Disco were dragged into the controversy. After some time, the heated argument began to cool and Brandon Flowers of the Killers apologized for his actions.
Yet, whatever happened was in the past; the band gave an interesting pop spin on the Killer’s single that was almost as enjoyable as the original. I must point out that Stump possessed an amazing energy on stage with both vocals and guitar. The band ended with an encore of “Dance, Dance,” as well as “Saturday,” one of the two oldest tracks that they performed that night.
Overall, what’s my take on the whole FOB thing? As much as I prefer the old, indie version of the band, I can’t deny the existence of this current music obsession and the fact that they’re doing something right.