Fall Out Boy

support Pinboys
author TL date 21/03/07 venue Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

To a shitload of fans from Denmark and Sweden alike, after the original promised European tour got cancelled in favour of an American one two years ago, this is the day they have been waiting for. The day where the phenomenon that has become Fall Out Boy finally greets our cold and windy country with a performance for all to remember. I get to the venue for my interview at around 13.00 and people have already set up camp in the line area. Naturally it's packed to the point of bursting around the time the doors are supposed to be opened, and when they are, in surges the crowd, filled with anxiety about seeing the band that for the past few years have slowly but steadily been clawing their way towards super-stardom.

Pinboys

Before the grandeur can commence there is however the small matter of a warmup performance by none other than Denmarks hottest and most debated pop-punk upstarts Pinboys. Tonight even more so than usually, you would have to be blind to attempt at blaming the guys (+Anne) for trying. Normally this is a band that goes to great extend to deliver their energetic pop-punk melodies all the way to the back of any concert room, and tonight it seems that they've realized the opportunity their shows with a band of Fall Out Boys magnitude presents, because they're coming on with everything they've got on display. In terms of a stageshow, everything they've got is pretty fuckin' good, as their enthusiasm shines through every second of their 30 minute short show.

What continues to be my main beef with this band is still bound to be related to their material. I am continually bugged by how these people seem to be content with writing ridiculously predictable and identity-lacking pop-punk-ish "woah woah" anthems. You'd think that with a female vocalist it would be something you'd take advantage of in order to throw something into the mix that would seriously make Pinboys stand out and become more than just another mediocre pop-punk band, but this doesn't really ever seem to be the case. Once again I feel like imploring Pinboys to start realizing that to the audience today being a style-exorcize in what pop-punk is simply isn't enough to seriously win anyone over. You've got to take your chosen style and somehow amplify it, make it your own and create something that's somehow unique, and until you get this right, all the energetic live performances in the world won't save you from receiving grades like;

6

Fall Out Boy

Fortunately for the Danish upstarts, they couldn't be opening for a better band, if they want to learn something about how to create music that's nothing short of breathtaking, while still being restricted to the somewhat limited elements of which pop-punk consists. For while Fall Out Boy is a band that everybody likes to have a (more or less thought out) opinion on, even the worst of critics should be able to acknowledge the way the show tonight speaks for itself. When the band launches straight into the opener of From Under The Cork Tree, "Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued" you can practically feel the relief from all the fans having looked forward to this specific moment for a very long time. Something that's noteworthy is that , already at this point, only 30 minutes after Pinboys left the stage, sound is clear as crystal. Riffs are crunchy and seem heavier than usually as Patrick sets out on a mission to hammer you on the head with the fact that he's a fuckin' amazing vocalist and what he's doing is as easy to him as breathing is to you. Fall Out Boy kills the first song with ease, and glides straight over into "Of All The Gin Joints In All The World" receiving a similar over the top response from the fans who're eating it all raw. It is after this song the band drops the bomb on us by treating us to argueably their biggest hit up until "This Ain't A Scene", namely "Sugar We're Going Down". So only three songs in, everyone in the room, from guys in their late twenties to girls in their early teens, is going mental. Only three songs in, a crammed Vega is running out of breath.. To think that I'd half expected this band to disappoint me live.

Thankfully, Pete Wentz isn't oblivious to his surroundings, because around this point he takes time off to pull the veteran showman trick of asking everybody to take three steps back. Now usually this would have been of help for about two seconds before the front would be packed with no room to move again, but strangely that is not the case tonight. There's an overly friendly mood present with the crowd, and somehow it never seems to get hard moving around, despite the mad jumping about and the fact that there isn't a soul standing who's not smiling. Meanwhile the band is continually treating us to songs from their first two albums, delaying the display of new material I for one had predicted. "Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner", "Sophomore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year", "I Slept With Someone In FOB And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me" and "XO" are all there representing the breakthrough album, while classics like the nostalgic "Grand Theft Autumn - Where Is Your Boy" reminded us of the brilliant "Take This To Your Grave" album. Every three to five songs, Pete takes short breaks off to breathe life into classic rockstar antiques like commenting on George Bush or the local girls, but in a way so damn charming and self-aware that you can't help but agree with him. There really is a reason this guy is considered the star he is. "Thriller" is the first song to represent the new album and the reception the fans treat it to leaves nothing to be desired from the ones given to the older material. Somewhere during one of the small breaks, Pete initiates an ongoing topic about things the band would like to export from America, and while he mentions foreign politics as something they think have been exported too much, he's more than happy to send a crew guy crowdsurfing down to the center of the audience in order to have him teach us the American tradition (?) of having a circle pit. The result is quite spectacular as a huge circle pit ensues.. AT A FALL OUT BOY SHOW!?!??! Needless to say the younger participants of the show are flying everywhere, and almost get crushed but still positivity is dominant as everyong is pulled to their feet, still grinning like it is christmas eve. When the band slows the set down to play "Golden" it's a display that should effectively kill all belief in how that song is just a cheesy ballad. Starting out as quiet and frail as on the album, the first chorus is already dominating the crowd but it's nothing compared to what happens when the entire band kicks in as support for the second one, succesfully adding some heavy anthemic grandeur to the already vastly beautiful song and creating a moment of the kind legends are made of. The next thing Pete want's to export to Denmark is some swear words from abroad, in particular the quite trendy expression "God Damn", and with that salute to the censorship of the bands currently raging opus, "This Ain't A Scene It's An Arms Race", and even though the crowd has begun looking seriously worn out at this point, everyone summons forth unknown energy reserves in order to raise hell to the sound of the songs' devilishly infectious chorus.

When Fall Out Boy leaves the stage, somewhat of a spectacle takes place. Instead of the usual silent "Please applaud to see us back on stage"-period, the band sends in their security guy "Dirty". Dirty wants to teach us yet another overseas tradition, namely the one of his hometown where best friend apparently consider it good fun to smack each other. Thus in the spirit of making new friends, two people are pulled out of the crowd to come on stage and smack Dirty in the face, much to the enjoyment of the rest of the audience. The fun doesn't stop here as Dirty now proceeds to bring his huge bald mofo of a 'best friend' on stage, and "What would this friendship be if I didn't let my best friend smack me?". Words made action, in the most obvious of fake pro-wrestling-ish moves, huge guy sends Dirty rolling across the stage, and even tho' it's all tacky as fuck, we're all taken in by the fun.

When the band comes back on stage, Pete Wentz is offended. He thought he was Dirty's best friend, and he refuses to play anything until Dirty comes back and hugs him. Well, let's all thank Dirty, because what follows is a display of force worthy of only the best of bands. The guys treat us to "The Takeover The Break's Over", "Dance Dance" and finally "Saturday", and what might have remained of strength in the crowd is drained to the last drop. Pete goes crowdsurfing and there is ecstasy, but nothing I witness this evening can be even remotely compared to the grand finale the band pulls of during "Saturday". While all the songs have sounded heavier so far, nothing has prepared us for the sonic onslaught the band mounts here, and I don't think there's a heart in the room that doesn't beat a little bit faster when Pete in cooperation with the huge guy from earlier roars out the hardcore screams in the ending of the song, as if to underline that this is by no means a band that has had its edges smoothed out.

Looking back, I still have a hard time thinking of things I'd imagine being done better at a rockshow. Granted I am quite the FOB fan, but even if you aren't, this night there was no denying the captivating power of the obviously great songs this band writes, and neither can you deny that in terms of delivery, these guys bring it more than 95% of all bands I've seen live. Possibly the best rockshow I've ever seen, and Pete, I'm so gonna hold you to that "See you this summer"!

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