For 99% of the thousands of fans crammed into the almost sold out arena, this will be the first time they’ve had the opportunity to see the FOB boys in the flesh since the hiatus ended. Those lucky enough to attend the Camden show last year are excited to see the difference a larger venue can make. It was 5 years ago in this very venue that we saw Fall Out Boy in Manchester – March 2009. A lot has happened since the hiatus, but not their stature. Fall Out Boy thrive in any sized hall, from the tiniest London clubs to the largest northern stadiums. But regardless if they “can” pull it off, does it mean they should?
Blown-up condoms and all, the swelling floor can’t stand to wait another second for some entertainment. Not sure if they’ll find it in New Politics set, polite jumping and air punching ensues anyway for the Dutch threesome. With their latest album ‘A Bad Girl in Harlem’ dropping last year, the band are keen to promote their brand of dance-pop. Half an hour skips by, featuring ukuleles and break dancing, and proves an adequate opener for a crowd with more Chicago-based things on their mind.
The Pretty Reckless stage is set, complete with pointy crosses, promoting their new LP ‘Going To Hell’, but one could only hope Taylor Momsen was as perky; her stage presence as dead as a doornail. Whilst Momsen has never been one for fawning over her audience, instead preferring to fornicate with mic stands and drumkits, towards the end of the set, which includes fan fave ‘You Make Me Wanna Die’ plus new album tracks, her pulse appears to return, and she raises our spirits just high enough.
As the beat of The Phoenix starts vibrating through the chests of the thousands of anticipant fans, the black backdrop is torn down to reveal the impressive lighting rig, drum riser/ramp contraption, and a screen big enough to rival Times Square, showing the boys’ videos. Rocking up in balaclavas, the guys slide straight into ‘I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy’ and ‘A Little Less Sixteen Candles’, energy levels are sky-rocketing, but soon come back down to earth as the sound equipment fails. Spectacularly. And for a few minutes, unbeknownst to the band, who are still trying to play ‘Chicago Is For Lovers’ full whack. When they eventually realise the crowd is signalling that “we can’t hear you”, Patrick grabs his acoustic, and screams at the top of his lungs, prompting a singalong from those of us close enough to the stage to hear the acoustic version. It’s a sweet moment, and Pete even takes a selfie with Patrick to commemorate the occasion. Soon enough, we’re back on track, and launching into songs new and old, balloons releasing into the crowd and a beautiful sea of lights, before an amazing acoustic set performed from a platform in the middle of the crowd.
Check out our photo gallery of this show HERE
Finishing up, in true FOB style, with Saturday and Pete careening into the crowd, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the thousands of other fans surrounding you and threatening to crush you at any second, because in a lot of ways, FOB shows always seem like the cosiest most intimate gigs, because of the passion and enthusiasm FOB continue to genuinely pump into their performances. The previous arena grievances are gone. Long Live Fall Out Boy.