Fall Out Boy: Concert review

Fall Out Boy promo pic

Fall Out Boy put on a high-octane performance at the Sound Academy in the Chicago rockers’ first Toronto appearance in four years.

By: Nick Krewen Music, Published on Sat May 25 2013

Fall Out Boy
3.5 stars
Sound Academy at May 24.

Fall Out Boy dished some unexpected razzing at Mayor Rob Ford at the Sound Academy on Friday night.

Six songs into their taut 90-minute set, the Chicago rockers’ bassist/lyricist Pete Wentz, by way of introducing one of their newer numbers, “Where Did The Party Go,” dedicated the ditty to our embattled city leader, currently caught up in a scandal involving alleged crack cocaine use. Wentz then cheekily advised the crowd of 3,200 in their 20s and 30s: “Don’t smoke crack!”

Although that comment was met with laughter and cheers, the fact that the latest Ford spectacle even warrants a mention from these ambassadors of emo caused a few audience members to wince and look nervously at each other for a second or two. But that short-lived blemish was overridden by a high-octane performance from a re-energized band that only a few years ago wasn’t sure if it would continue.

Not only is Fall Out Boy back with an ambitious and hook-laden album in Fall Out Boy Save Rock And Roll, but if there was a band high fuelled from their energetic two-guitar pronged performance, it was caused by adrenalin.

In their first Toronto appearance in four years, driven by the intense pounding beats of Andrew Hurley’s incessant drumming, Fall Out Boy performed hungrily, mightily, and fed off a gathering that was just as eager to renew its acquaintance as the band was to play for them.
“We missed you guys!” singer Patrick Stump exclaimed just before the quartet launched into “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arm Race.” It was one of several blasts from the past that included faithful renditions of “Hum Hallelujah,” “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” and “Dance, Dance” and provoked spontaneous bursts of vocal audience accompaniment. You could tell he was being sincere with the compliment.

The reception the band received from the crowd — packed sardine-tight in a swaying human stew of sweat and solidarity — was nothing short of euphoric, prompting bassist Wentz to comment, “It’s like a hockey stadium in here.”

Speaking of Stump, the Fall Out Boy frontman was consistently impressive with his powerful vocals, exhibiting an amazing range that dipped from a deeper Elton John impression on “Save Rock And Roll” (a new album track that John guests on and, honestly, may have involved some vocal trickery on the part of the FOB crew, who did use taped harmonies for some of the concert) to the high falsetto of “The Phoenix,” a number laced with the melodrama of urgency that heightened the song’s emotional impact.

With Joe Throman ably supplying both rhythm and guitar leads, Fall Out Boy delivered a sharp, well-paced set that contained a good sampling of both new and old, a fine warm-up to their Sept. 15 return to Echo Beach.

As for their claim that they’re out to “save” rock and roll, judging by Friday’s gig, Fall Out Boy is certainly all it’s cracked up to be.


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