Anyone walking through the grounds of Blossom Music Center on Tuesday, July 18, might have thought they had mistakenly walked back into 2016. (Perhaps the seven-year reverse transport is what caused the two-hour traffic jam!) Fans of all ages repped black skinny jeans, graphics tees, studded belts, and Doc Martens and relived their pop-punk days. Is it 2016 again? No! Just a Fall Out Boy show filled with nostalgic fans ready to see the iconic group take the stage.
The tour was all the more special as the band recently released their first album since 2019 titled ‘So Much (For) Stardust‘ in March of 2023.
Fall Out Boy kicked off the show with the lead single off the new album, “Love From the Other Side” (which preceded the record in January of this year). They followed with “The Phoenix” from their 2013 album ‘Save Rock and Roll’ and the ‘simple’ stage setup quickly erupted in flames that shot up from behind drummer Andy Hurley. Bassist Pete Wentz even had a flamethrower attached to the end of his instrument capable of shooting bursts across the stage.
After the group launched into their 2005 breakthrough single “Sugar, We’re Goin Down,” I thought to myself “Wow! I am surprised they have such a simple stage setup.” Aside from the fire during one song, it’s just a boring red curtain.” This is far from par for the course of a tour generating this type of revenue. Perhaps reading my mind, the stage quickly shifted, unveiling a border of quirky monsters and shapes, a light-up platform for the drum kit, and even a massive inflatable dog head. Wentz likened the vision of the stage design to being a kid playing “the floor is lava” and needing to walk to get a snack so the rules change to accommodate the acquisition of lava boots because it’s YOUR made-up world and YOU can do whatever you want. Fall Out Boy did exactly what THEY wanted when working with their team to design this set.
In addition to the expected classic songs on the setlist, the show was full of surprises! Frontman Patrick Stump took the stage solo at the piano with a beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” This was followed by “I’m Like a Lawyer with the Way I’m Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)” and then a rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,” which is a sure way to elicit a sing-along in ANY setting.
With eight albums under their belt and a 22-year-long career, Fall Out Boy has a huge catalog of music to dive into. New songs like “Hold Me Like a Grudge,” and “Heaven, Iowa,” were met with enthusiasm. A special moment came during “Fake Out,” for which the crew passed out pieces of paper to fans for holding over their phone flashlights, creating a colorful array of lights for the band and fans alike to behold. A beautiful scene, indeed.
While new music is always fun to showcase, Fall Out Boy gave fans their own version of an Eras Tour and played an array of songs that spanned their entire career. The crowd threw up their fists and chanted loud and proud during the chorus of “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” from the 2007 album ‘Infinity on High’ and the band even threw in “The Take Over, The Breaks Over” (which was apparently not on the written setlist.)
As is tradition on this tour, a “surprise” song is added to the setlist each night (a page ripped right out of Taylor Swift’s playbook). The song is dictated to band members by a giant Magic 8 Ball that appears on a screen above them. Tonight, much to the delight of fans, Magic 8 Ball demanded “27,” which had never before been performed live!
If there is one thing Fall Out Boy proved at this show, it’s that the band really knows how to work a crowd. At one point, Wentz went from standing on the piano before seemingly vanishing into thin air.! The band played a partial cover of Ozzy Osborne’s “Crazy Train” with Pete seemingly absent from the stage. Looking around, some thought he must have been backstage until the cheer from the audience revealed there was something that some fans were privy to that the rest were not. Wentz was spotted standing on a small platform in the middle of the audience, next to the soundboard, and bathed in the spotlight. (It remains a fun mystery how he made it there without being detected!)
Audiences love seeing the band having a good time onstage. Watching Fall Out Boy enjoy themselves helps the audience know that this isn’t just a job to them, but a passion. Despite doing this for over two decades, it is clear this group is still having fun and still making great music.
When’s the next tour, guys?