About a decade ago, in a galaxy far far... well not even a galaxy, it was in a city called Chicago, a city full of music lovers and lushes known for its diverse and extensive music scenes, there was a local band of underdogs named Fall Out Boy. Hundreds of times thousands of music lovers would flock to places like the Knights of Columbus in Arlington Heights or the original Bottom Lounge in Chicago to see a band that experienced a rise to royalty amongst their fans and peers alike. It seemed like everyone was accepted at a FOB concert in the early days. For a lot of us, those shows and that local band helped us to make a circle of friends that remain with us to this day. As we would all come to find out, they went on to build a prestigious career developing out on the road in clubs, getting a record deal, becoming more and more commercial as each day passed until they became an arena headliner and a household name recognized worldwide. At one time it was near impossible to go into a sports arena without hearing one of several Fall Out Boy songs played over the PA. Then one day the band decided they needed a break and just as they had become a part of the lives of millions around the world they were suddenly gone. A "hiatus" it was called. Questions flew all over the Internet. What did this mean for the future of the band? Did the band break up? Many feared they had seen the last days of the band they loved so much.
There had been rumors that a reunion could happen, but nothing concrete had been announced in any official capacity. The morning of February 4, 2013, that all changed. An official announcement was made through all major media outlets that Fall Out Boy was coming back. The initial announcement followed with additional press releases. A new single, a world tour, and a brand new album. The best of the announcements was that before the band returned to the large theaters and arenas around the world, they would begin their comeback with a series of small shows in Chicago (where it all began), New York, and Los Angeles at 250-350 capacity clubs. The blitz was on. How do I get a ticket? How do I get a guest list? How do I get back in touch with that friend, of a friend, of a friend that knew the band back in 2005 and used to let Wentz, Stump, Hurley, and Trohman sleep on their couch when they came to New York in the "Early Years" before the fame to call in a favor and land me on the list with them? The search began.
Two Chicago Music Magazine writers covered the show in Chicago the night previous so I was able to immediately get on a plane from Chicago to New York to attend the Webster Hall show February 5th, knowing it was a historic comeback show that could not be missed.
Fall Out Boy's rise to fame happened during a period of time when Chicago fans didn't go see a band, they went to a show as a part of a community. They were made to feel as if they were an extension of the band. There were others in Chicago like Fall Out Boy in Chicago. Lucky Boys Confusion, Allister, Plain White T's, The Dog and Everything, Swizzle Tree, 504 Plan, Much The Same, Penny and The Loafers, Full Range, Spitalfield, The Academy Is, to name just a few. Some of those bands are still around, and some have since put down their guitars and drumsticks, and went on to build careers in and out of the music business. Chicago in the early 2000's was a special place like nowhere else. It had a musical identity and at the epicenter, was Fall Out Boy.
Last night in New York City, I relieved the feeling I once had watching Fall Out Boy perform to a sold out crowd in a small 300 capacity club. It was surreal. The line before the show stretched around the building. Hundreds of kids without tickets waited eagerly at the sign of someone who just might have that extra ticket hoping the money they had would be enough to get them into the show. For some it worked, for others, they stood outside of The Studio at Webster Hall and did not hesitate to sing along to every song at the top of their lungs as if they were in the front row. It reminded me of the early days watching the line form outside of the original Bottom Lounge, a venue which was knocked down and transformed into a train station.
The people who made it inside the venue by somehow getting one of the very limited public tickets or a coveted guest list spot were in for a real treat. The weird thing: everyone was older. Time had passed. Many of those in attendance had been in College when they discovered FOB. It didn't matter. It was as if everyone went back to that time in their life where they heard Fall Out Boy for the first time. They had to be at the show.
Once inside I noticed many reunions happening. People who hadn't seen each other in years had flocked to New York to experience the comeback show. There was a lot of chatter about the new single that had been put out via iTunes and on the FOB website just a day earlier prior to the bands show at Subterranean in Chicago. About an hour after doors the lights went down, the house music faded and just like the first time that local band from Chicago stepped into The Studio inside Webster Hall. Fall Out Boy had arrived.
The set list was comprehensive, traveling across the bands repertoire. This included old fan favorites such as "Dead On Arrival," "Dance, Dance," "Sugar Were Going Down," and ending of course with their anthem "Saturday." One of the highlights of the night was when the band debuted to the New York audience their brand new single that had been released only a day prior called "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'Em Up)." The new song displayed the new start that exists for the band as they embark on their second coming.
The thing about last night that became the post show talk of those in attendance was that for the first time in a long time every single member of the band looked like they were having the time of their life. It was no longer a stagnant trend of going through the motions. The members clearly displayed how fresh it once again felt for them. Wentz and Stump could be seen looking over at each other and smiling during several of the evenings selections as if to say to each other, "Wow this feels good." Joe moved to each side of the stage. Patrick took time to go rock out with Andy. It was as if the band was going to leave everything on stage and return to their van parked outside and travel hours to the new show on their 2005 East Coast tour.
Last night in New York I saw the same Fall Out Boy I remember growing up to. Long before I was a journalist or even had an interest of being in the music business. It was a special night and a sentiment that was shared between most everyone in the room. There were some things that were different. Patrick Stump lost a tremendous amount of weight while pursuing a solo career. Pete Wentz had a son with Ashley Simpson and performed at events like Lollapalooza with his side project Black Cards, Joe and Andy rocked out with Scott Ian of Anthrax in The Damned things. Somehow during all the chaos and things that life brought them they wrote a brand new record.
Wentz paused at one moment to declare to the audience, "New York!!! This is a takeover, the Mother Fu**in' break is over!!!" The audience roared tremendously. Following "Sugar Were Going Down" the band left the stage as they normally do for a break before the encore. What happened next surely gave many in the room chills. A chant of "Welcome Back!, Welcome Back!, Welcome Back!" encompassed the capacity crowd. As the band re-took the stage Wentz was emotional thanking the crowd, the label, and their management for being there and supporting the band for so many years. It was clear the comeback was a long time coming. It was a long-kept secret for not only the band but for everyone on their team. The band played a three-song encore ending with "Saturday" as they always do and just like that, the show was over and they were gone. It was indeed a takeover, the break was over and the capacity crowd in the Studio of Webster Hall loved every minute of the show. Fall Out Boy is now a band with a goal to save Rock and Roll and I believe they will. Their quest continues February 7th at The Roxy in Los Angeles, California.
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
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
(Michael Jackson cover)
Sugar, We're Goin Down
The Patron Saint of Liars and Fakes
Thnks fr th Mmrs