REVIEW: Fall Out Boy at CSU Wolstein Center – 9/11/13
Fall Out Boy returned to Cleveland with every intention to Save Rock and Roll.
However, they might have left the rock and roll capitol unfulfilled.
The Illinois pop-punkers have been making a name for themselves for more than a decade, but it was four years ago the band announced an indefinite hiatus.
However, earlier this year, to the excitement of fans, Fall Out Boy announced their reunion and new album, Save Rock and Roll, which would debut at #1 on the Billboard 200.
Powered by booming (and excellent production) and guest appearances from Elton John, Courtney Love, Big Sean and Foxes, the group delivered the album diehard fans had been anxiously awaiting for since 2005’s From Under The Cork Tree. Unfortunately, most of the fans at the concert were in grade school when that album came out, and those who earlier identified with it were absent.
Opening with “The Phoenix” (an appropriate title for their resurrection), FOB would move across every release during their near two-hour set. It was the two-song acoustic set (“I’m Like a Lawyer with the Way I’m Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)” & “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy”), near the back of the Wolstein Center, that would highlight the evening.
While the band provided an excellent soundtrack to the evening, it was the video screen behind them that would capture my attention on two occasions. First, during “Alone Together,” images of real punk-rockers (colored mohawks and all) in love faded in and out, telling the story of companionship through mutual social alienation. The second would happen during the first song of the encore and title track of their latest release. While FOB is trying to save rock and roll by further infusing it with hip-hop and pop-hooks, it was the sound of those displayed on the screen that created and popularized the sound. Pictures of Springsteen, the Beatles, Stones, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, the Clash, the Ramones and more were exhibited while the crowd reacted at different sonic levels (I doubt a majority recognized any of them beyond MJ).
The band would close the evening with “Saturday,” a song prominently featuring Pete Wentz on vocals with howling growls and sounds that would define the emo(/screamo) scene since the song’s debut.
While I can attest the band was the most polished I had ever seen them, I just wish a few faces from the crowds four to eight years ago were in attendance.
Twenty One Pilots opened the concert with the high-energy set. The Columbus duo have been generating plenty of buzz in 2013 following exceptional sets at Bonnaroo, Bunbury, and SXSW. Singer Tyler Joseph made it a point to introduce himself to a larger crowd in Cleveland by jumping into the stands. Drummer Josh Dun can be easily confused for Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, thanks to the eccentric style.
Fueled by Ramen label mates – Panic! at the Disco also performed. While only two original members remain – drummer Spencer Smith and singer Brandon Urie – it was Urie who was only present and surrounded by bassist Dallon Weekes and touring musicians. Still, Urie and company delivered a set full of fan favorites like “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Nine in the Afternoon”, along with their newest single “Miss Jackson” off of the upcoming album Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!.
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