Fall Out Boy / Kids In Glass Houses - MEN Arena Manchester - 5.3.09

Opening the night were Welsh rockers ‘Kids In Glass Houses’. For an opening act, they received a surprising amount of support. By the time the fashionable, poppy and excitable five piece were in full swing, it became apparent that a large portion of the crowd were there to see ‘Kids in Glass Houses’ and not the climax of the evening ‘Fall Out Boy’. ‘Kids In Glass Houses’ are impressively tight musicians, their songs are incredibly bouncy and their commercial success comes as to no surprise to me. However, and I may be chased down and cast out of society for saying this, I felt that everything ‘Kids In Glass Houses’ did became a little bit cliché. Despite this, their solid and exciting performance warmed up the crowd perfectly, for the main act of the evening.

Opening with ‘Thanks For the Memories’, ‘Fall Out Boy’ literally erupted on to the stage followed by twenty foot flames, shooting out from behind them. This impressive pyrotechnic display marked an exciting beginning to what would become an exciting show. My first observation as I entered the arena was the massively mixed aged group that spread itself across the stands, mothers and fathers with their daughters, and boyfriends with their girlfriends, were amongst the 16,000 manic, screaming fans. Despite my first thought that this may hinder the atmosphere of the show, it seemed to exacerbate it.

‘Fall Out Boy’ are incredibly energetic on stage. The band had no problem in filling the large stage set-up with their awesome spins and guitar swings, even though they are only a four piece.  Admittedly, Pete Wentz is an attractive man, every female in the crowd would scream at every word he spoke. But for me, the true talent of the band lies in Patrick Stump. His huge vocals are often underrated, and the high notes he hit could make even Michael Jackson jealous. Just as his band members point out at one point during the show, by calling him ‘the human jukebox’, the silent Patrick Stump seems to talk through his music. Playing the technical lead parts and singing the often challenging vocal melodies at the same time, meant that Patrick Stump stole the show.

The impressively long one hour and fifteen minutes that ‘Fall Out Boy’ were on stage for, was filled with both old and news songs, perfect for both old and new fans. Sugar
We’re Going Down Swinging’ contained one of the biggest sing-a-longs I have ever heard. ‘This Aint A Scene.. I’ts an Arms Race’ contained one of the biggest crowd movements I have ever seen. And, ‘Dance Dance’ was probably one of the best encore choices I have ever witnessed. Songs from the latest album, ‘Folie a Deux’ show a great deal of promise, the sound appearing to move away from the old pop punk sound to a more arena filling spectacle. The use of four extra drums on ‘Detox just to Retox’, did make for an epic performance, that confirmed the change in sound. In my personal opinion, I enjoyed the songs they played from the ‘Under the Cork Tree’ Album, the interesting lyrical ideas and flowing guitar melodies, made the songs feel altogether more accessible and polished. A couple of covers thrown in for good measure completed the set list, the interesting choice of ‘Estelle’s ‘American Boy’ proved successful as ‘Fall Out Boy’ made it not only their own, but improved on the original. Everyone was expecting the ‘Michael Jackson’ cover of ‘Beat It’, and ‘Fall Out Boy executed it well despite the lack of solo as the climax for the song, leaving some doubt as to the guitarists ability.
It’s difficult to discuss ‘Fall Out Boy’, without taking into account the stigma that follows them, and more accurately ‘Pete Wentz’ around. On more than one occasion I heard people discussing the arrogance that ‘Pete Wentz’ has attributed, and how this has ruined ‘Fall Out Boy’s image. However, I feel that this arrogance works for ‘Fall Out Boy’, this was confirmed when the band literally told the crowd, ‘I Don’t Care’. The song was perfectly performed, with brilliant light up guitars and a fire work display to match. ‘Fall Out Boy’ proved tonight they deserve to be as popular as they are. Once a small town  pop-punk band, but now arena filling mega-stars, ‘Fall Out Boy’ are quickly becoming one of the biggest and arguably best bands in the world.

Words: Edward Lewis

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