So Saturday, Fall Out Boy came to visit me at The Fillmore Charlotte.
It’s no secret that I’m an out-in-the-open, unashamed lover of Fall Out Boy who wears my fandom on my sleeve. It all started in 2005. My college girlfriend and I made it a habit of bouncing up I-85 to Charlotte and down I-85 to Atlanta for shows fairly regularly. She sent me not-so-legal downloads of Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued and Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down before their tour stop at The Masquerade in Atlanta. I obtained their first album – Take This To Your Grave – and four of us rocked out to it all the way to Atlanta and back on April 27, 2005. They played with The Academy Is and Gym Class Heroes. And it was amazing.
First, I’ll go ahead and apologize for the hand gestures in the first picture. If you don’t know what it is, don’t ask. Second, thanks William Beckett for CLOSING ONE EYE! And to whoever (Kristin? Kate? Random crowd person?) took the blurry picture. Third, these are two of the very few pictures I have from when I rocked the lip ring. Enjoy!
In the summer of 2005, my mom and step dad were living in Phoenix, Arizona so that’s where I spent my not-in-college time. And just so happened that Fall Out Boy was playing Warped Tour. Of course I was going. It was after their second album, From Under The Cork Tree, had been released so there were more people there but it was still before they had blown up. With as many bands as you see on Warped Tour (and let’s face it… that was 7 years ago), details are a little blurry. But I do remember two distinct not-so-bright things: first, the girl I went with wore sandals to a mosh-pits-encouraged concert and second, an outdoor concert on June 29 in Phoenix is not the most comfortable.
They released Infinity On High in 2007 and toured on that album throughout the year. As I said earlier, Clemson falls almost exactly in between Atlanta and Charlotte. So this, coupled by the fact that it’s off the beaten path and a super small town mean almost nothing non-country-music ever comes to Clemson. But somehow, they managed to snag a date from the Young Wild Things tour in the fall of 2007. On my birthday (whoa LiveJournal entry!), no less. So even though I had already graduated from grad school and had a big-boy job in Chapin, I made the trip to Clemson on Sunday, saw Cute is What We Aim For, Plain White T’s (before they blew up…), Gym Class Heroes (after they blew up…), and Fall Out Boy (hugely blown up by this point…). My college friend, his girlfriend, and I managed floor tickets and enjoyed the whole show 30 feet or so from the stage. I left that night and still made it to work on Monday morning somehow. #CorporatePunkRock
They released Folie a Deux in 2008. But by this point, I had lost all of my concert-going buddies to either break ups, marriages, or college friends getting jobs and moving away. I didn’t make a huge effort either, since I wasn’t crazy about that album. Which would prove to be incredibly unfortunate.
In 2009, they announced an “indefinite hiatus.”
So what do you do when your favorite band breaks up?
You absolutely geek out when they announce they’re back on February 4, 2013 with a new single (My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark), a new album due out in May (which was amazingly changed to April later when they saw the fan response), and a summer tour. I wound up forking over $85 a ticket on the secondary market after missing out on tickets the day they went on sale. I wasn’t missing my favorite band in my favorite sized venue.
Somehow, through three previous shows, I’d never managed to pick up a tshirt. So the night started with dropping entirely too much money ($25) on a tshirt. Then, New Politics opened the night. I was pleasantly surprised. Enough to make me consider picking up their album. Two things that struck me as really cool – judging by their Tumblr page, their lead singer is taking a picture from his viewpoint of every crowd the play in front of and during their new song Harlem, the guitarist changed the lyric from “Harlem” to “Charlotte” in the chorus. Huge fan of bands that personalize a performance for each town.
After a short break, down went the lights and up went the screams. “Yeah, what you critics said would never happen,” on the Jay Z recording. “Welcome. It’s here.”
Let’s do this!
- Thriller – Super fast, heavy drum beat to open. Snarky, arrogant lyrics. The perfect opening song.
- I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me – An early FOB song from the second album that wasn’t a hit. And there’s screaming in it, so I can’t hate.
- A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More “Touch Me” – Another early song. Good start!
- Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes – The opener to Folie a Deux. The first verse was some of the most fun I’ve ever had singing at a show.
- The Phoenix – They’re touring on a new album and it takes four songs to get to the first new song. Love, love, love this song. The lyrics in the verses are on point.
- This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race – Wasn’t a fan of this song when it came out in 2007 and still not a huge fan. The crowd loved it though since it was a decent radio hit.
- Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today – This is the song I think of when I think FOB. It’s the first song on their first album. One of my favorite songs by them ever. A classic.
I’m a terrible singer. And I didn’t care how loud I was belting this song out.
- Alone Together – Another new song. The lyrics are incredibly stupid (“Tonight I’m high as a private jet”… yeah, no). But we did get more Pete screaming to make the live version a little harder than the recorded version.
- What A Catch, Donnie – My first time hearing it live. They used it to give the crowd a break since it’s slower and everyone was nasty hot at this point. One of the best FOB songs ever written.
- Death Valley – Despite the fact that I should love that a FOB song has the same name as Clemson’s stadium, I’m not a huge fan of this song. Previous shows’ set lists had Where Did The Party Go from the new album. Instead, we got this one. So if I had to pick a disappointing moment, this was it.
- Hum Hallelujah – Hands down, my favorite FOB song. I can hear the opening note or two and I instantly break out into a smile. I was in full “act like a 12 year old” mode during this song. “I could write it better than you ever felt it.”
- Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy – Back to the first album. Before they blew up, this was the song they were known for. A FOB classic and requirement at any show. Like rings on a tree trunk, you can tell who has been a fan for how long based on whether or not they can sing this song.
- Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down – The song that put them on the map. I hated this song when it came out. I love it now.
- Young Volcanoes – Back to the new stuff. I was glued to Andy on this song. The drums are super fun. Definitely a stretch from where FOB came from but this could easily be on the radio.
- Dance, Dance – And back to the old stuff. This is a song I really don’t like or want to like but it’s so damn catchy. So there I was, singing along with the everybody else.
- I Don’t Care – The big hit from Folie a Deux. Not a fan. It’s too big for my tastes, like it was written for arenas. But they’ve got to play it. I love the line “Free love on the street but in the alley, it ain’t that cheap” though.
- My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark – First hit song from the new album, last song before the encore. I loved this song from the moment I heard it. The second verse is one of my favorite verses in any song, by any band, ever.
- Save Rock And Roll – Quick note: the audience started chanting lyrics from this song before the band came back on stage for the encore. So cool. I like so much about this song. It pays homage to their earlier albums with lyrics from the first and second albums. They somehow managed to land a cameo from Elton John and it somehow works. But I think it’s one of those songs that loses some of its magic live.
- Thnks Fr Th Mmrs – Again, this is another song I wasn’t crazy about when I was rocking Infinity on High in 2007 but it’s gotten a lot better with age. Solid buildup for the finale.
- Saturday – The staple to end any Fall Out Boy show on. It’s not their biggest song. It’s not the most famous. But the longtime FOB fans know it, Pete gets to scream (although it looks like he’s finally crossed the line where he’s too old to jump out into the crowd now), and it just fits. Perfect way to end the night!
By my count, that’s:
- Take This To Your Grave – 3 songs
- From Under The Cork Tree – 4 songs
- Infinity On High – 4 songs
- Folie A Deux – 3 songs
- Save Rock And Roll – 6 songs
That’s incredibly fair for fans from any FOB era given they’re touring on a new album. Minus a song or two, I heard everything I really wanted to hear without being overly picky.
Easily my best night of 2013.