Fall Out Boy at Wembley ArenaCultureMusicLive music
Filling Wembley Arena is no mean feat, but for Fall Out Boy it’s just another stop on their European tour, and another crowd of thousands to entertain. Since forming in 2001, they have held a steadfast presence in the pop punk and emo pop scenes, filling the crater that sits between pop and alternative culture, and the size of tonight’s crowd at Wembley Arena testifies to their ever-growing popularity.
As all good bands know, entrance is everything and Fall Out Boy begin the show by storming the stage as balaclava-wearing, flag-wielding guerrillas to the sound of The Phoenix. It’s hardly the most original of entrances, but it sets the tone for Fall Out Boy’s faux-rock boy-band performance. That’s not to say that the band is as devoid as talent as Simon Cowell’s 90s pop cash cows. It’s nice to see drummer Andy Hurley recognised for his services to sticks, elevated above the band and even given a pounding solo that almost knocked the band’s pop title right out of Wembley.
Not ones for brevity, Fall Out Boy sling out ridiculously titled hit after hit: This Ain’t a Scene It’s an Arms Race, A Little Less Sixteen Candles a Little More “Touch Me”, and the touchingly named I Slept with Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me, which is apparently a nod to ex-lothario bassist Pete Wentz’s tendency to bed groupies and send them pictures of his intimate areas.
Wentz may have calmed down on the genital front, but he still took the helm in terms of crowd-pleasing, earning screams for telling the audience that he “loves how f***ing weird you are”, and comparing Fall Out Boy to a splinter in the finger of pop culture – although whether that meant plotting a silent take down, or just hanging on to pop’s extremities for dear life is unclear. Meanwhile, unlikely lead singer Patrick Stump kept a low profile, largely sticking to centre stage and performing the classic left-right leg shuffle with occasional fist pumping.
The Fall Out Boy pop rock mongrel may not be to everyone’s liking, but their ability to entertain is first rate. Catchy classic Sugar We’re Going Down had the crowd clambering on shoulders like an 80s stadium rock gig, and their cover of Beat It shows how well suited and adaptable the Fall Out Boy style is to covering huge hits. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark was the surprising highlight of the gig, sounding a lot more rawk in the flesh than its ill-fitting radio version. An acoustic interlude in the middle of the arena floor followed and was most probably welcomed by fans relegated to the bank benches of Wembley’s mammoth cavern, but didn’t have the same impact as their electric antics.
If you accept Fall Out Boy’s inevitable pop sidings then enjoying their performance is easy. They smack Wembley in the face with full on teen angst and an attitude of defiance that can’t fail to rile up the devoted crowd. With a packed schedule ahead of them this summer, and whispers of a One Direction collaboration, it looks like the band are ready to climb back into the top spot.
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Watch the video for My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark here: