Pop-punk royalty Fall Out Boy took us on a trip down memory lane and made us fall in love with Mania.
Fall Out Boy have done what many early 00’s emo bands haven’t – they’ve made the giant leap into mainstream without losing their sense of where they came from, and with that they have not only gained new fans, but they have also managed to not alienate their die-hard fans from the days of From Under The Cork Tree.
With support from the stunning Against The Current, the evening is off to a brilliant start. A catwalk-like stage stretches across the arena floor which makes the 20,000-cap venue feel like an intimate, sweaty punk show. Oh and there’s some huge screens framing the stage, fireworks, flame throwers and confetti for days. The quartet sure don’t hesitate to pull out all the arena show tricks you can imagine.
They kick off their set with The Phoenix off 2013’s Save Rock And Roll – and that is what they’re doing, sort of. They remind their critics that maybe you don’t like all of the new songs but hear them live and you won’t even flinch to dance in your seat.
Only two songs in and Patrick Stump & Co take us down memory lane with everyone’s favourite 00’s emo tune Sugar We’re Going Down. Let’s face it, if you were 13 or older, you were singing this song on repeat for days, weeks, hell – for months (actually, it’s been years… #sorrynotsorry).
Then, with an arena full of phone flash lights, Patrick Stump treats us to his finest piano playing and an acoustic performance of Young & Menace, which originally has massive EDM influences and is one of the more experimental tracks on MANIA. Complain about mobile phones at gigs all you want, but seeing a stadium or arena lit up with what from afar looks like a thousand lighters is still one of the most breath-taking sights in live music.
Speaking of using all the tricks in the arena show rulebook: levitating B stage anyone? Actually, there’s two. Pete and Patrick are just high enough that the second level of The O2 really gets a view they rarely receive from all the way up at the top. With Dance, Dance and Thnks Fr Th Mmrs the room truly erupts into a huge dance party, nostalgic singalong included.
As the band take to the main stage again, 2008’s I Don’t Care comes through the speakers, supported by a video montage of pop culture’s greatest middle fingers, from an emoji rain to Rick & Morty, Mr Bean and Eminem in 8 Mile.
And just when you spend the time between the end of the set and the encore, wrecking your head what songs could possibly top what just happened, Fall Out Boy bring the house down with the absolute tune Uma Thurman (She wants to dance like Uma Thurman, bury my ’til I confess. She wants to dance like Uma Thurman, and I can’t get you out of my head – cue one of the most memorable intro melody of pop music history) and 2013’s My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up), a song that seems a fitting finish to a mind-blowing show as Fall Out Boy bring out all the fire and all the confetti. But it ain’t over yet – is there a better way to close a FOB show? Well, maybe with a huge throwback to 2003 with Saturday – an ode to the fans that have been there from the start and a nod to it actually being a Saturday night.
So there you have it. Fall Out Boy proving what we knew all along, they still have it and they manage to walk a fine line between teenage emo nostalgia and total mainstream entertainment. They have rightfully earned their spot at this summer’s festival stages and don’t let anyone tell you any different.