Ten years ago, Fall Out Boy (8) released From Under The Cork Tree, the album that sent them stratospheric and, alongside seminal releases from Panic At The Disco and My Chemical Romance, firmly cemented the arrival of emo the mainstream. Tonight, headlining the largest indoor arena in the UK, the band open with their biggest hit from that album, “Sugar We’re Goin’ Down,'” which gets the crowd bouncing along and shouting the words from the very start.
Make no mistake, however, this is no nostalgia set. Indeed, Fall Out Boy are the most enduring band of that scene, and the setlist is peppered with songs from their post reunion albums, Save Rock and Roll and American Beauty / American Psycho. These songs go down equally well with the diverse crowd; there’s several different generations of Fall Out Boy fans here, an impressive, unusual feat for a band with just a 14 year career. Though the new songs are undoubtedly less heavy, they’re by no means any less complex and many, such as “The Phoenix” sound just as hard hitting live as older material like “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race,” which causes the first mosh pits of the night.
Fall Out Boy are a band perfectly suited to large, arena gigs and their stage show mirrors that. With explosive pyrotechnics going off throughout the gig and certain songs accompanied by fireworks alongside huge screens showing interesting, if slightly gaudy, graphics, the Illinois band really know how to put on an arena rock show. A particularly touching moment comes during “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” where the cameras roam the crowds, showing the emotional audience off on the screens.
Despite the bombastic nature of most of the set, Patrick Stump and co find time to tone things down midway through, where they take to a mid arena B stage to play acoustic interpretations of “Immortals,” and “Young Volcanoes.” This is not only a chance for Stump’s incredible voice to take center stage but for drummer Andy Hurley to prepare for his impressive drum solo, which comes after the acoustic break.
After the drum solo, the band kick right back into action, pulling out hit after hit to an eager crowd that laps it all up. Tonight, Fall Out Boy have proven beyond all doubt that they are still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to crafting massive, arena filling singalong alternative rock songs. From “Thnks fr th Mmrs,” to “Centuries,” every single song they play keeps the vast audience in the palm of their hands. Ten years on, Pete Wentz still has buckets of charisma and when, close to the end of the set, he spots a fan with a banner claiming “Fall Out Boy saved my life,” he makes a point of telling her that no, she saved her own life. It’s a fitting, emotional climax to a brilliant set.