Believers Never Die
Writer: Amy Cummins

When someone mentions the band Fall Out Boy, everyone seems to have an opinion. Easily one of the most loved and hated bands of the last decade, it was no surprise that there were mixed reactions to the band’s announcement on Monday that they were returning from hiatus and subsequently playing a string of intimate shows this week beginning with last night’s show here in Chicago at Subterranean.

What was my reaction, you ask? Excitement. I am not ashamed to admit that I am a fan of Fall Out Boy. They were one of the first local Chicago bands that I was introduced to in high school so they hold a very special place in my nostalgic heart. I remember going to their music video shoot for “Dead on Arrival” at Knights of Columbus in Arlington Heights in 2003 like it was yesterday. I also remember when they had the power turned off on them at the Wheaton Community Center because the fans were going “too crazy” crowd surfing and moshing. Watching them rise from local Chicago talent to one of the biggest bands in the last decade was amazing. It made me feel proud and honored that I was able to follow their journey along the way. It is no surprise then that I just had to be at their hiatus-ending Subterranean show last night.

If you were like me and lucky enough to have snagged a ticket before the show sold out during the one-minute online sale, you probably can relate to my excitement. Out of all of my nostalgic friends who tried to buy tickets, I was the only one who succeeded. Needless to say, the rapid sell out caused a mass-frenzy for fans that weren’t so lucky, which lasted up until and after doors opened at the 375 person capacity North Avenue venue. I arrived to the venue around 7PM to find that over half of the people waiting in line didn’t even have tickets. Many ticket-less fans held signs up that read “Will (insert verb here) for FOB tickets,” and let’s just say that these fans were willing to do just about anything to go to this show. Once doors opened and everyone outside was completely numb and possibly frostbitten, the line watched as ticketless fans tried and failed at countless attempts to get inside. I have to admit, I give them credit for trying but I give even more credit to the patient staff at Subterranean.

I arrived inside the venue to find that although I only arrived one hour before doors, I was able to snag a spot about 4 rows from the stage. In the hour I had between doors and the start of the show, I defrosted and people watched. I noticed a few different groups at this show. The majority of the people there were fans, but there were also quite a few members of various press outlets as well as family and friends of the band. I’m sure as in any show there were probably some people there who weren’t fans, but I was standing amongst the die-hards and didn’t spot any.

When 9PM hit, the crowd started growing impatient. The “Fall-Out-Boy” chants began. You could feel the anticipation in the air. I knew this was going to be an energetic show.  Just when I thought the crowd couldn’t wait any longer, the beginning chords of FOB’s “Thriller” came on as the band entered the stage down the spiral staircase in the back corner of the stage. Needless to say, the crowd went absolutely insane. Before Patrick Stump even began to sing the first note, Pete Wentz was already in the crowd. The crowd quickly pushed toward the stage to get closer to the action. To me, it felt reminiscent of the days before all of their success. I instantly felt like I was 16 again.

As the show progressed, it was obvious that the band was not going to disappoint their fans. There was a little bit for everyone, as they played songs from every album, including a snippet of “Honorable Mention” from 2003’s Evening Out With Your Girlfriend. Although there were a few moments where the band missed notes, the fans didn’t seem to care and the band seemed to be in great spirits. Stump’s vocals were right on point (if not better) throughout the night despite him having to maneuver around the small stage to battle the crowd surfers who made their way up to the front. At one point he joked that the crowd made him nervous like it was his “first time.” It was clear that the band was just as happy to be back as the fans were.

The band ended their set with “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” before breaking for the encore. The crowd waited and cheered in hopes the band would come back out for a few more. They did, which made the crowd erupt into screams again. Patrick came back to the microphone and told a story about how he saw Prince when he stopped in Chicago on his recent tour and that he waited for an hour for an encore that never happened. He promised to never do that, which made the crowd cheer louder. The band closed the night with 3 more songs, “Chicago Is So Two Years Ago,” “Thnks fr th Mmrs,” and fittingly, “Saturday” which has been a popular closer for the band in the past.

Overall, I really can’t see any Fall Out Boy fan being disappointed in this performance. The entire night had a very special and memorable vibe to it and it was honestly everything I was expecting their comeback show to be. They’re back, ladies and gentlemen, whether you like it or not. Will Fall Out Boy Save Rock and Roll? Honestly, it depends who you ask. What I do know is, they can still put on one hell of a show and that’s all I could ever ask for.

Setlist:

"Thriller"
"I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me"
"A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More 'Touch Me'"
"Dead on Arrival"
"This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race"
"Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner"
"I'm Like a Lawyer With the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)"
"Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today"
"Grand Theft Autumn"/"Where Is Your Boy"
"Hum Hallelujah"
"Dance, Dance"
"Honorable Mention"/"America's Suiteharts"/"Lake Effect Kid"/"Alpha Dog"/"Calm Before the Storm"
"What a Catch, Donnie"
"The Take Over, the Breaks Over"
"I Don't Care"
"My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)"
"Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year"
"Beat It"
"Sugar, We're Goin Down"

Encore:
"Chicago Is So Two Years Ago"
"Thnks fr th Mmrs"
"Saturday"