Fall Out Boy
(Palace of Auburn Hills, MI - April 20th, 2006)
For all the bands on this bill, hitting the road together in 2006 for one of the most anticipated concert tours this year had quite easily brought with it some of the biggest crowds of their fledgling careers. From early openers From First To Last and October Rising on through to Hawthorne Heights, All-American Rejects and Fall Out Boy, not one of these bands had played to such a massive grouping of fans ... and yet didn't bat an eyelid when it came to knuckling down to work.
Hawthorne Heights aren't your typical band in many ways. They have a sound that bleeds freely into several different genres: emo, hardcore, punk, indie. They've loyally stuck with indie label Victory Records at a stage in their career when most bands would be making the leap to the majors. Tonight, with all band members dressed in white pants and white Ts, they relentlessly crank out their music, barely breathing in-between songs. Their distinctive sound though is culled from having three guitarists, which enables them to re-create the sounds on their CD live to more accuracy than most bands. Combine that with both musical and lyrical hooks and the band has a dynamic which a lot of bands don't: they skillfully create happy parts, sad parts, heavy and poppy parts all within the same song.
The story of the All-American Rejects begins in the sleepy town of Stillwater, Oklahoma, where a couple of kids named Tyson Ritter (vocals/bass) and Nick Wheeler (guitars/programming) bonded over their mutual love of catchy melodies and monster guitar licks. Flash forward to 2006: Tyson and Nick, aided and abetted by Mike Kennerty (guitar) and Chris Gaylor (drums), are now making a huge splash with their Interscope Records debut, Move Along and playing 'opener' to one of the hottest new bands on the circuit today, FOB. AAR take the stage tonight in stark contrast to HH by the visual fact that each of their band members are wearing black! Coming across like a manic cross between The Thieves and The Vines, Ritter and co swing their guitars, swing their heads, strut endlessly back and forth across the stage, and bring a solid 45 minutes worth of music to the baying crowd.
With their gushingly well-received albums Take This to Your Grave and From Under the Cork Tree, Fall Out Boy has taken the punk/emo songbook and torn out the pages, scribbled in the margins, and spilled Mountain Dew all over it! With the band having only formed in 2000 - and having gotten their name from an audience member - the four members of Chicago's Fall Out Boy are now a force to be reckoned with. Vocalist/guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Peter Wentz, drummer Andrew Hurley, and guitarist Joseph Trohman had all been in and out of various units connected to Chicago's underground hardcore scene, but the chemistry that now makes them what they are in FOB is more powerful than anything in the past few years.
Taking the stage tonight for their Black Clouds and Underdogs tour, the band assembled behind massive held-up curtains that once dropped; and with guitars unleashed, the band quickly held sway with the very young crowd - in more ways than one! Challenging the rules of when to play your biggest hit single to date, the guys bring it out third song in to the baying appreciation of the mosh-pitted hordes. But from the off it was obvious that this was no G-rated event as the only talking member of FOB (Peter Wentz) was quick to reveal - either side of his constant F-Bombs!
With bassist Wentz doing all the talking for the band, egging on the crowd while lead singer Patrick Stumph hung in the background, it was left to him to discuss with the young crowd homosexuality, the art of stage diving (complete with freely-enticed diving fan!), his constant love for Detroit (although we were in Auburn Hills), his like for true love and marriage, and especially his love of his fans. In fact, being the ONLY spokesman for the band, he was Ringleader supreme tonight!
Culling deep from within their albums, each song lasting no longer than three minutes each, Fall Out Boy have got the hooks and looks down to an art, but it seems like they're missing something. Sure, in this day and age of emo, rock ní roll isn't about individuality, but then again what was not evident here tonight was the groups vocal cohesiveness either. But, that small matter aside, FOB played hard, played fast, and played their hearts out and that's truly all that mattered to the thousands of paying consumers that packed the Palace of Auburn Hills tonight.
Review by Russell A. Trunk
Photos by Chris Schwegler - www.schwegweb.com