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Fall Out Boy Returns to Form at The Roxy: Concert Review

Fall Out Boy Roxy - P 2013
Kyleen James

The Bottom Line

Chicago pop-punkers make grand return to form during intimate club show. 

Venue

The Roxy, West Hollywood
(Thursday, Feb. 7)

 

Pete Wentz and the reunited pop-punk outfit performed the third in a series of comeback shows at the Sunset Strip club.

Fall Out Boy officially concluded its three-year hiatus with an intimate and decidedly rollicking performance at The Roxy on Thursday night. The concert, the third in a series of small-venue shows in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, marked the pop-punk group’s comeback following the announcement of its upcoming new album Save Rock and Roll this week.

The band, which has been working on the new disc in secret for the past year with producer Butch Walker, told the crowd that these small club shows felt like the best way to mark their return. “A lot of people were asking when we were playing, and the truth is we wanted to have some new songs to play,” bassist Pete Wentz told the audience. “We didn’t want to make it a commodity,” frontman Patrick Stump added. “We wanted to give you something new in addition to that.”

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The only new material the band offered Thursday night, however, was lead single “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up),” a raucous number that the crowd already knew all the words to despite its release five days ago. The rest of the set, which was not preceded by an opening act, traced Fall Out Boy’s discography, jumping from its 2003 debut Fall Out Boy's Evening Out With Your Girlfriend to 2008’s Folie a Deux. In many ways it all felt new, thanks largely to the band’s genuine excitement to be playing again. The audience’s delight to see Fall Out Boy perform such tracks as “Dance, Dance” and “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” again was equally palpable, even as the majority of the room was guest-listed VIPs (who included Kevin Smith and members of Cobra Starship and 3Oh!3).

If Fall Out Boy felt specific to a scene in 2007 when pop-punk reached its dizzying height, the band feels less so now. The group’s heavily pop-leaning numbers seemed more universal Thursday night, connected less to a specific genre and more to mainstream appeal (how else do you explain 2 Chainz's appearance in the lyric video for “My Songs Know What You Did”?).

Propulsive numbers like “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs” off 2007's Infinity on High were apt reminders why Fall Out Boy was able to score platinum albums before vanishing to pursue their less successful individual projects. Those projects -- including Wentz’s electronic group Black Cards and Stump’s inventive but ignored solo album -- signified musicians who wanted to move on from pop-punk. But the looks on their faces as they bounded through the 2003 hit “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy” revealed that they’ve reconciled with the fact that they are in Fall Out Boy, now and forever.

But along with the fans who drove to L.A. from Texas hoping to be let into The Roxy on Thursday, there will always be Fall Out Boy haters. And Wentz knows that. “The truth is, after these three shows in Chicago and New York and here, people will go on the Internet,” he told the crowd. “People will walk out of here and have their own perceptions.” He concluded, “You have to know that if it hit you anywhere in the heart, that doesn’t matter.”

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The evening, which felt like more of a comeback than a reunion, seemed particularly poignant when the band played “The Take Over, The Breaks Over.” As Stump shouted out the song’s title, the words seemed to resonate with the audience, which surged as The Roxy let in some of the ticketless fans waiting in line outside. As the song goes, “Don't pretend you ever forgot about me.” The fans clearly didn’t forget about Fall Out Boy, but it’s nice to see the band didn’t either.

Fall Out Boy will release Save Rock and Roll on May 7 via Island Def Jam and will be on tour in May and June. The band’s Save Roll and Roll tour kicks off May 14 in Milwaukee and wraps June 30 in Nashville. Fall Out Boy returns to Los Angeles on June 13 at the Wiltern. Tickets for all dates go on sale Feb. 8 and 9 via Ticketmaster.

Set List:

Thriller
I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me
A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More "Touch Me"
Dead on Arrival
This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race
Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner
I'm Like a Lawyer With the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)
Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today
Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy
Hum Hallelujah
Dance, Dance
Honorable Mention/America's Suitehearts/Lake Effect Kid/Alpha Dog/Calm Before the Storm
What a Catch, Donnie
The Take Over, the Breaks Over
I Don't Care
My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'Em Up)
Beat It
Sugar, We're Goin Down

Encore:

Homesick at Space Camp
Thnks fr th Mmrs
Saturday

Kyleen James