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There are some bands that you hear for the first time, and you fall instantly in love with them. The opening notes to any song can play and it has you screaming in your car while hearing it on the radio, and before you know it you are turned into a lifelong fan. This was not the case for me the first time I heard Fall Out Boy. I don’t shy away from the fact that I was a music gatekeeper in my high school days when the peak of pop punk and emo music was around. However, over time, I have warmed up to more modern music and consider myself a late-stage emo as that is some of my favorite music now. When Fall Out Boy announced a two day show at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, it was time to stop being a hater and see why people are so dedicated to this band.

Getting the show started early was Royal & The Serpent, who were not going to let the bright sun or the slowly trickling in fans slow them down. Singer Ryan Santiago made sure to engage the crowd as much as possible to pull them into their show. Following them was The Academy Is… who re-united only last year and was such a fan favorite band of the night, as they made BMO Stadium feel like the old Warped Tour days. Closing out the opening bands was Bring Me the Horizon who created a special moment with the fans when singer Oli Sykes walked through the crowd to the back of the floor seating area during the song “Drown.” Sykes found an elevated platform and stage dove into the flash mob of people that was following him wherever he went. Bring Me the Horizon could have headlined their own show at this stadium, but graciously helped build the excitement of Fall Out Boy to come.

Finally, it was time for Fall Out Boy. Within the opening few songs like “Love From the Other Side,” “The Phoenix,” “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” and “Uma Thurman,” Fall Out Boy wowed and dazzled the crowd with fireworks, ice canons, smoke machines, and pyrotechnics that blasted 20+ feet in the air! I fully expected a solid performance from the band members themselves, as you don’t amass a following like they have or play venues like a stadium without being proficient performers. But I was left speechless at just how spectacular the start of their show was. Bassist Pete Wentz had a fire canon strapped to his bass that launched fire straight over the crowd as he played. Something unique that the band did, was during their song “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy” they wanted to turn the massive BMO Stadium stage into a club setting. Bringing down a roof fixture that hung just a couple feet over their heads with bad lighting, it was as if we were transported back to the early days of Fall out Boy performing in dive bars.

A special moment was the live debut of their song “I’ve Got All This Ringing In My Ears and None On My Fingers” which was performed by vocalist Patrick Stump, who brought out a grand piano to accompany himself on this solo performance. The second night also got another special moment with the live debut of “Bang the Doldrums,” and the crowd could not hold back singing along to these two deep cuts. The night was filled with amazing songs from Fall Out Boys discography including “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More "Touch Me",” “Calm Before the Storm,” “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s a Arms Race,” “Heaven, Iowa,” “Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year,” “The Last of the Real Ones,” “Baby Annihilation,” “Dance, Dance,” “The (After) Life of the Party,” “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up),” “Thnks fr the Mmrs,” “Centuries,” and ending the night with “Saturday.” Pete Wentz even jumped onto the barricade for the final song, re-igniting all the teenage love the fans in the front row have always had for him.

I have countless friends that have preached the word of Fall out Boy as gospel and continue to play their music on loop for me. So through out the show, I unexpectedly caught myself singing word for word some of the songs. Songs which, I didn’t think I knew. But this just goes to show how much Fall Out Boy’s music has permeated the music scene and pop culture. Any person could attend this show, and I guarantee there would be at least one song that they would find themselves singing a long to. Even if they didn’t know any other songs, the stage show itself would excite and astonish any person who walks into a Fall Out Boy concert, like myself. As I left the venue, the biggest smile could not disappear from across my face from just how much joy these four people were able to pull out of me.

Photos courtesy of Elliot Ingham  

Matt Martinez

Editor - Orange County

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