With its last album, American Beauty/American Psycho
, Fall Out Boy uses samples and electronic beats to make a disc that sounds a bit more contemporary and radio-friendly. The strategy worked — songs such as “Centuries,” a tune that makes use of a sample of a Suzanne Vega tune, and “Uma Thurman,” a song with a catchy surf guitar riff, have become staples on commercial radio. But for last night’s show before a near-capacity crowd at Blossom, the band embraced its punk rock past (the group originally emerged from Chicago’s hardcore scene back in the early ’00s), delivering leaner and meaner renditions of the songs on American Beauty/American Psycho
and playing hits from its back catalog.
Performing on a stripped down stage that gave them plenty of room to roam, the guys in Fall Out Boy were dwarfed by a massive video screen that showed video clips and animation throughout the show. An array of lights were also projected from a giant rig atop the stage and throughout the concert, lasers and flickering strobes kept time with the band’s frenetic performance. You can see a slideshow from the concert here
The show started off fast and furious as the band emphasized the snarling guitars in the opening tune “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” and added some pounding percussion to “Irresistible,” which was characterized by Patrick Stump’s soulful singing at the song’s conclusion. After delivering a hard rocking rendition of “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s An Arms Race,” the band made its way to the lawn area for a two-song acoustic set. Stump’s voice cracked a bit during “Immortals,” but he sounded particularly soulful on “Young Volcanoes.” After that brief moment of mellowness, hard-hitting Andy Hurley, the band’s tattooed, shirtless drummer, delivered a solo, and the guys returned to the main stage where they picked up where they left off. “Dance Dance” featured squealing vocals and had a real sense of urgency to it as did “Uma Thurman,” a track that sounded heavier than its studio rendition. Even “Centuries” didn’t use as much of the “Tom’s Diner” sample as the band sped the song up to make it rock harder. Bassist Pete Wentz dedicated the first song in the encore, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up),” to his “family in Ohio,” something that went over well with the huge crowd. The band crammed nearly 20 songs into a 70-minute set, suggesting the quick-hitting nature of the crowd-pleasing performance.
Rapper Wiz Khalifa shared headlining duties with Fall Out Boy and played a 70-minute set of his own. The wiry, dreadlocked singer didn’t have much stage presence, but he had energy to spare and even ran to the lawn to sing “Taylor Gang.” Having a live band really helped bring out the nuances of his music and his set ended on a high note with a one-song encore that featured the poppy crossover hit “See You Again.”