Nothing like spending Saturday night baking under the hot New Jersey sun at PNC Bank Arts Center. Friends and I trekked to the middle of the state to see Hoodie Allen, Wiz Khalifa, and Fall Out Boy take the stage and entertain us for a few hours.
To say we were the cranky old people in the crowd is unfair to me and more of a reflection on who Fall Out Boy appeals to. Silly me for expecting the crowd to be ages 15-35, the crowd was 7-17 with a handful of parents “supervising” and maybe 20 of us between the ages of 18 and 30. But that didn’t really dampen the show once Fall Out Boy took the stage.
But prior to Fall Out Boy taking the stage, we sat through some interesting moments.
Hoodie Allen (who?) was a hot mess. I couldn’t understand 90% of what he was singing about but hey, whatever I wasn’t there to see him and for a brief 60 seconds he sang Lit’s My Own Worst Enemy before realizing the audience is too young to understand the greatness of that 1999 single.
Wiz Khalifa is not my thing but he was neither bad nor good. He just existed on stage for his set time, performed a bunch of songs that I didn’t know, made the crowd cry with his Paul Walker tribute song, and did Black And Yellow to a crowd that didn’t know the song. Me being the white girl that I am kept getting the lyrics confused with the Penguins parody.
Fall Out Boy stepped out on stage and launched into Sugar, We’re Going Down Swinging. Possibly their biggest song of the aughts. From there the show just escalated to insane levels of Mup lighting. Alone Together was played and made me wonder, for the first time, if that song was about being vampires as they sing about staying young forever and needing to be invited in. If anyone has that answer, please let me know.
Midshow, there was a moment of mellowness as the band used the tunnels underneath the venue to arrive in the middle of the crowd where they performed acoustic versions of Immortals from Big Hero Six and Young Volcanos. Immortals the album version is a terrible song, but its acoustic rendition was a decent song.
As Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, and Joe Trohman went back under the tunnels to the stage, Andy Hurley had a magnificent drum solo. I know that Pete Wentz makes the gossip columns and Patrick Stump could sing the dictionary and keep the crowd enraptured and Joe Trohman is the forgotten one, but good god Andy Hurley is a talented drummer.
Most of the songs that were played came from Infinity On High or newer, songs that I like but didn’t grow up on so I didn’t spend countless hours in my bedroom analyzing them for clues and posting them on AIM as away messages; it was so scandalous when I used a line from Dance, Dance as an away message! Not analyzing the songs made me miss the genius of Centuries and it took a minivan full of preteens to make me realize this. Earlier in the night we were sitting in the parking lot snacking on food and just enjoying the sun when kids in the aforementioned minivan pulled up humming Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner.
And while the classic 1987 song is a fantastic choice for them to be singing, I thought it to be an odd choice for them to be singing. By this point, you’re probably saying “no shit Cait, Centuries samples her ‘dah dah dahs’” and yes, I’m dumb for not making the connection. But the choice to use that specific song in Centuries I think is amazing beyond the sonic impact. Patrick Stump sing about going down in history, being remembered for centuries and Suzanne Vega might be an odd choice compared to some other memorable bands but for a band in 2015, Suzanne Vega is the most iconic, the most groundbreaking performer. Tom’s Diner was used to test sound quality and ended up being the first song compressed into the MP3 file format. Our music today is the way it is because Suzanne Vega recorded such a difficult song to compress. She is the “Mother of MP3s” and should be revered in a song. Every band should pay tribute to this woman.
After Centuries finished, the band played My Song Knows What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up) to which I lost my shit to and almost collapsed laughing because even live it sounds like “light a mup”. And finally, most amazingly, and disappointingly as everyone left during this song, was Saturday. When those notes opened I stopped dancing. I stood there in awe and fought back tears. Suddenly I was 14, alone in my room, angry at the world and being comforted. It was a moment I’ll remember forever, a moment that made every drunk 13 year old disappear and it was just me and Fall Out Boy standing there. I wouldn’t trade anything thing for that 3 minutes and 41 seconds.
Love them, hate them, Fall Out Boy is on tour and probably coming to a city near you.