photo by Javier Ayala / Fuse 2008
It's always nice to travel back to your hometown, and probably even better if your playing in one of the most successful current rock bands to a sold show for a concert that is being taped to air on television. So is the life of Fall Out Boy, the punk pop hometown heroes that returned to their roots and rocked out The Chicago Theatre Tuesday night. The show was brought to town by Fuse television in celebration for the guy's new album Folie à Deux, which is out December 16th, the same day the concert will air on Fuse.
The band hit the stage to a barrage of fireworks and flares (the joys of a television budget and a more open venue policy due to taping I suppose), while bassist Pete Wentz and guitarist Joe Trohman bolt across the stage, guitar and bass slung high in the air. Lead singer Patrick Stump's soulful voice was welcoming as always, proving he has one of the better male vocals in music today. As the band raced through their hit "Thnks fr th Mmrs," you could tell they love the music they play. Yet much of their stage demeanor seemed mechanic and stale, much like they were going through the motions. Fans tend to forget that as much as bands love music, playing shows is still a job. And like any job sometimes you get stuck in a rut after doing the same task for so long. Thankfully the band caught they're stride and seemed at home on the stage, but while the music sounded tighter and more on point then years before, the boys seemed to be having less fun playing than they did years ago at the Knights of Columbus back in Arlington Heights. Maybe I'm just a nostalgic, but there is something to be said for the energy of young acts who are struggling their way to the top.
Although the concert was to promote Folie à Deux, the band still ran through some classic tunes and older cuts. I was happy to see their Christmas classic "Yule Shoot Your Eye Out" make an appearance, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit to pumping my fist along to the entirety of "Chicago is So Two Years Ago." The band went full throttle when they busted out their hit cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It." Stump's vocal range really shines on the cover, and what band doesn't love to play a favorite cover song? They then surged into their breakout hit, "Sugar We're Going Down," making it the rowdiest and most infectious song of the night.
Although at times the pyrotechnics, strobe lights, and dancing bears (are dancing bears ironic with the young kids now?) made for a dog and pony show atmosphere, Fall Out Boy proved that they are by far one of the most successful bands around today, and probably the most successful act to come out of Chicago in recent years. Deep under the surface you can tell these guys are truly talented musicians, and they are gracious for the success and attention they have garnered. It's always nice to see a hometown hero succeed, and Fall Out Boy truly enjoyed sharing the success with their hometown fans. Patrick Stump put it best with the most heartfelt and simple statement of the night: "I love Chicago, I miss it, and it feels good to be home."