Live Review: Fall Out Boy at Birmingham NIA & Manchester MEN

Fall Out Boy
Birmingham NIA & Manchester MEN
16th & 17th March

After waiting 8 years to see one of my favourite bands that have been one of the most influential on my life, I knew these shows were going to be a huge deal for me. I experienced some pre-show excitement and set-long fangirling that has not occurred since I was around 16. If reliving your teenage years is a good way to spend your last few weeks before another 20 something birthday then I can’t think of anything better to include in that than seeing Fall Out Boy not once but twice.

As the lights went down and the music started the white curtain dropped to reveal a balaclava-ed Fall Out Boy who planned on kicking off proceedings with one of their more recent tracks ‘The Phoenix’ and it’s riotous edge. From those first moments through to the very end there was screams, cheers, sing a long’s and dancing to every single song of this 19 track long set. With such a good, varied and well known back-catalogue of tracks to choose from the Chicago quartet wasted no time in delving into that with next two tracks, ‘I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy…’ and ‘A Little Less Sixteen Candles’ both coming from their breakthrough album ‘From Under The Cork Tree’. It was a set bound to please everyone from the long-time fan to more recent convert with tracks such as closer ‘Saturday’ and a beautiful acoustic rendition of ‘Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy’ coming from earlier release ‘Take This To Your Grave’ set alongside more recent ‘Save Rock and Roll’ material like ‘Death Valley’, ‘Just One Yesterday’ and current single ‘Alone Together’.

This was a performance not only brilliant to listen to but brilliant to watch, it was a true spectacle of a live show complete with an amazing guitar solo from Joe Trohman and an insane drum solo from Andy Hurley. The high energy pace of the show was cut short a little quicker than anticipated in Manchester though when the sound failed at the beginning of fourth song ‘This Ain’t A Scene…’ prompting some unnecessary booing from some audience members. Though never a band to disappoint, lead singer/guitarist Patrick Stump grabbed an acoustic guitar and treat us to a rare performance of ‘Chicago Is So Two Years Ago’ while bassist Pete Wentz went around the stage taking selfies with the crowd. When the sound came back it came back with a bang in the form of ‘Thriller’, their cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ and teenage anthem ‘Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down’ prompting one of the biggest sing a long’s I have ever witnessed and been a part of.

Moving to a smaller stage right in the middle of the arena, Pete, Joe and Patrick played a couple of acoustic tracks ‘Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner’ and ‘Where Is Your Boy’ in Birmingham and replacing the former for ‘Sophomore Slump or Comeback King of the Year’ in Manchester. This was by far one of the most breathtakingly gorgeous moments of the set especially as the tracks were older gems rediscovered and reworked for this their comeback UK tour.

Returning to the main stage the four piece played the night out with the swaying rhythms of ‘Save Rock and Roll’, the huge sounds of ‘Thnks Fr Th Mmrs’ and the classic pop punk sounds of ‘Saturday’ and with that they were gone from the stage. I think every single person in that room would agree with me that the set was over far too quickly for their liking even though they played for nearly 2 hours. But I’m sure they would also agree with me in saying that the show put on by the band was spectacular and momentous and we are all absolutely thankful that Fall Out Boy are back and better than ever.

All pictures taken by Charlotte Pearson at the Birmingham date

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