Review: The Evolving and Enduring Appeal of Fall Out Boy

When Patrick Stump sang “Like I’m the last damn kid still kicking that still believes” from “Save Rock and Roll,” it was a particularly resonant lyric. Fall Out Boy is one of the last emo pop acts still standing and filling out arenas. They not only continue to appeal to the audience that came up with their ascent but to a new generation of fans as well. It was rather stunning looking around PPG Paints Arena Wednesday night watching the hits off From Under The Cork Tree being sung along to by legions of people who were toddlers when the album was first released.

Fall Out Boy’s latest stop in Pittsburgh was at the front end of the M A N I A Tour’s second leg. It was an evening of confetti, pyro, and many other high energy frills. Pete Wentz had a bass that shot fire, practically a Spinal Tap moment waiting to happen. The accents were a necessity for a show of this size with a band so devoid of swagger. Patrick Stump is too occupied with demanding vocals to be much of a frontman, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley are great players but modest on stage, while Pete Wentz’s banters with the crowd were succinct.

The energy of the band has always been through their set itself, which somewhat surprisingly leaned heavily on the band’s post-reformation material. The songs from M A N I A certainly held their ground (“Last Of The Real Ones” and “Wilson(Expensive Mistakes)” were show highlights) but a few bones to the old fans in place of not-quite-realized singles from American Beauty/American Psycho would’ve balanced out the set.

In an era where bands are on the endangered species list Fall Out Boy continues to deliver at a high level. It would hardly be surprising to hear them cited as an influence of new artists for many years to come. They may have just saved rock and roll after all.

 

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