I still remember the first time I saw Fall Out Boy. It was a small club in Des Moines, Iowa called House of Bricks. I’m talking the old House of Bricks… the one on Merle Hay. They were playing with my favorite band- Bayside- and I had no clue who they were at the time. I remember hanging out in the parking lot with the band. I was instantly struck by their down-to-earthness. They were just some regular guys living in a van while trying to make their dreams come true. Flash forward to last night. I watched Fall Out Boy put on a performance at a nearly sold out Xcel Center complete with lights, fireworks, and flames. I left the show last night feel inspired. That’s something not many bands can do.
The show opened up with Jaden Smith. Yes, Will Smith’s son. At only 19 years old, I was instantly struck but the way Jaden presented himself. Honestly, I would have guessed he was a seasoned 20- something rapper that had been doing this for years. I was definitely a bit shocked this morning when I was doing some research on the young man and realized he was only 19. He had a sense of power on stage and commanded the quickly growing crowd with east. His brand of rap seemed a bit harsh when considering he is Will Smith’s son but he is so much more than his last night. Jaden’s set was full of something that screamed independence. I couldn’t tell you what that was but I was thoroughly impressed as I watched him kneel down at a pedal board in order to change the effects on his microphone. Yes, that sounds small and minute in the grand scheme of things but he could have easily had his DJ do that for him– but he didn’t. The stage was huge and Jaden looked so small on it but that passion that he conveyed filled the entire arena.
blackbear was up next. I sat in my seat as blackbear started up his set and couldn’t help but shake my head and mutter… “fucking millennials” to myself– I felt like my father. Call me old fashioned but I just didn’t get it. Here I was watching this guy on stage explain to an all ages crowd (that had a bunch of little kids attending with their parents) about how he used to get prostitutes and bring them back to his hotel every night. I cringed when he talked about how he took his best friend and his “bitch” to Paris and then wrote a song about it. Again, maybe it’s just that I’m old and don’t understand but everything about blackbear was just a little too much for me. I get being edgey– trust me– but there’s a time and place for it and an all ages Fall Out Boy show isn’t quite where I see that going over well.
When blackbear wasn’t pissing me off by opening his mouth inbetween songs, he was jumping around the stage presenting his bad-boy rap songs to the crowd. The youngsters around me (okay, they were probably early 20’s but still young) were going crazy and eating up every word that he said. There’s no denying that blackbear has a following and has truly made a name for himself. There’s also no ignoring the fact that, like Jaden, he was a force on stage and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I just don’t see the longevity in what he’s doing and I don’t understand how it seems a whole generation is obsessed with him. Again, I’m just too old.
It didn’t matter how much I disliked blackbear’s set. As the lights went down for Fall Out Boy I could feeling the excitement overcome me and, along with the other girls who were freaking out, I started screaming at the top of my lungs when I saw the four members take the stage. As soon as they took their spots on stage, the band kicked off their set with a song that I didn’t recognize. Fall Out Boy was everything to me when I was a teenager but I fell off the train awhile back. I haven’t listened to any of their new stuff nor do I care to. They were one of those bands that came into my life at the perfect time and made a peaceful exit when I no longer needed them. That being said, they are a band that I will never forget and, although I didn’t recognize the first couple of songs, I made up for it when they played their older hits dating back to 2003.
The first time I saw Fall Out Boy was at a small club where there were barely even flashing lights. Last night there were flashing lights, fireworks, flames and moving platforms. As I stood in front of my seat, I watched in awe as the four piece split into duos and tethered themselves to two platforms that moved up towards the ceiling of the arena. Did the show need it? No. Was a bit over the top? Sure. But it wasn’t completely over the top. They were flashing their power and super star status without being completely obnoxious.
The crowd was going nuts throughout the generous set. The youngsters throughout the crowd were singing along to the newer songs whereas the older crowd (including myself) was screaming along to the songs that got all of our angsty teenage-selves through high school. Regardless of age, the crowd fell silent as Fall Out Boy surprised us with a new song that is due out on their upcoming release. Jaw were on the floor as drummer Andy Hurley gave us a truly impressive drum solo from the moving platform towards the center of the crowd.
Throughout the twenty-two song set, I could be found either screaming my heart out or waiting patiently for a song that I recognized. Regardless of if I was singing along or not, there was a giant smile on my face as I watched these four kids finally accomplishing the dream that I saw in their eyes years ago. To say it was inspiring would be an understatement and, instead of walking out of last night’s show exhausted like I do after so many shows, I left with a sense of purpose and a desire to make all of my dreams come true just like those guys did. Even though they looked like giants on that stage, the four members of Fall Out Boy will always be those dorks that I played Frisbee with in the parking lot of House of Bricks.
Go ahead and judge me but I had the absolute time of my life watching Fall Out Boy last night. Sure, I try to come off as this metal chick with no fear and a love for screaming vocalists but deep down I’m just a pop-punk kid that never really grew up. Last night I reverted back to my 13 year old self and I loved every single moment of it. Thank you Fall Out Boy for reminding me that growing up is overrated and dreams really do come true.
Venue: Xcel Energy Center
Sausage Fest Meter- 4 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 19
Crowd Surfers- 0
Stage Divers- 0
Broken Bones- 0
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Streamers, Fireworks
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- 0
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 10 out of 10
Show on Deck- Dagny/ LANY