Back in 2003, I went to the Warfield in San Francisco to see Less Than Jake and the Matches (one of my favorite bands of the time, and one of the best to come from the Bay Area in my lifetime).
Opening the gig was a band from Chicago called Fall Out Boy – I hadn’t heard of them before, but a bunch of girls in the crowd had – they were LOUD for this band – which I didn’t love or hate after their set had finished.
We all know what happened a year so later – FOB became kings of the pop-punk scene (or arms race, whatever), on MTV, playing arenas, the whole bit. Earlier this week, they announced a new album & tour after a 3-year hiatus, and with it came a few tiny club gigs.
I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to their Roxy show last night, and it was pretty great. Admittedly, I’m not a diehard fan, nor would I ever consider camping out outside a venue for a FOB show – but I dig what they do for the most part.
They took the stage to Jay-Z’s intro to the song Thriller (not an MJ cover), before launching into the song and setting the crowd into a total, all-out frenzy. These fans were HUNGRY for a Fall Out Boy gig, and it was obvious how jazzed everyone was that Pete Wentz, Patrick Stump, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley are back together.
The course of their 90-minute set was excellent – blasts of nostalgia (dating back to 2003′s Take This To Your Grave), a good chunk of Infinity On High (my favorite album of theirs), and their new song My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark.
It was an energetic, fist-pumping night even by typically blase Los Angeles standards – something Wentz pointed out a few times. The band responded to the fans’ exuberance with a hit-packed set highlighting their formidable skills on stage.
Stump, in particular, is one hell of a singer (and is now significantly skinnier now than he was during the Sugar, We’re Going Down days). Trohman and Hurley provide great accompaniment to the bands’ focal points, Stump and Wentz.
By the time the show was finished, you could really tell that Fall Out Boy haven’t lost anything – they’re still sonically tight, energetic, and seem to be enjoying themselves just fine. Wentz noted that when they decided to end their hiatus, they wanted to do so with new music – they weren’t content to just tour the county fair circuit or reform for a 10th anniversary tour (of Take This To Your Grave, for example).
Wentz did his hardcore vocals thing for the encore-closing Saturday, which is always fun to see. In all, it was obvious they wanted to REALLY come back with a bang – and this show was definitely that bang.
Oh, and I got to hang with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, a.k.a. Jay & Silent Bob (who were extremely nice people, which made me happy.) Cross this one off my “celebrity picture bucket list”.
Below, enjoy a few more videos from the gig and some photos.
A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More Touch Me