LIVE | Fall Out Boy @ 3Arena, Dublin21:56
To a large number of kids growing up in the early 2000's, Fall Out Boy were, and are, a pretty big deal. They tend to divide opinion in the world of rock music - their success is undeniable, but they're still a love-or-hate kind of band.
For me, it's been nothing but love from the outset - I remember having low-res MP3s of This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race and Thnks Fr Th Mmrs on my very first (sim-card free) Sony Ericsson phone circa 2006. Sugar, We're Goin' Down appeared on that year's Pop Party compilation album - Fall Out Boy were new and exciting and cool and impossible to dislike, for a kid on the cusp of discovering the underground world of rock, punk and everything in between.
So when the opportunity rolled around to see them during the week, I jumped at the chance. Finally. I hadn't gotten to see them before, because by the time I'd started going to gigs, FOB had just announced their hiatus (and crushed a lot of teenage emo hearts). This was their second return to Dublin post-hiatus - the first being a quickly sold out show in Dublin's small Olympia Theatre.
But now, on October 1st 2015, they were finally back, with London musician Charley Marley, and English rapper Professor Green in tow. The former had been recently signed to Pete Wentz's record label, DCD2, and brought with him a unique sound, taking influence from genres such as punk, reggae and hiphop. Marley showed serious energy and showmanship from the get-go, and had the crowd bouncing along to his infectious beats within minutes.
Professor Green seemed to really divide the crowd - personally, I'm not a huge fan, his music just isn't my thing, but it was evident that he knew what he was up against, and he really gave it all on the night. P.s. his co-vocalist, whose name I have completely forgotten, is insanely talented.
As for Fall Out Boy's set, there were times at the start when it felt a little lacklustre - songs from their 2013 album Save Rock and Roll seemed to fall a little flat, which was surprising considering they included punchy tracks like Alone Together and The Phoenix. They quickly picked up the pace though, with a few bouncy songs off their latest record, American Beauty/American Pyscho (the title track was a particular highlight).
They also threw in some old classics for good measure, such as Thriller, I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy..., and A Little Less Sixteen Candles... - all of which left perplexed expressions on some of the younger members of the crowd (even during their cover of Michael Jackson's Beat It, I heard someone say 'what is this?' Like..?!). There were also moments where it seemed as if the crowd where I was standing were struggling to feign enthusiasm, which is a bit of a downer on anyone trying to sing and bop along, but what can you do? (Answer: keep on dancing, of course).
The set felt like it flew by, despite being a good hour and a half long - the band were bashing out songs one after the other at times (although Pete did take time to stop and crack a few jokes, and tell us about the talk he gave that day at Dublin's Trinity College) and the night was closed with a quick rendition of Saturday and a brief goodbye.
My highlights of the night included Grand Theft Autumn, the aforementioned Sixteen Candles and the ever-joyful Young Volcanoes (which was followed by a cool acoustic rendition of Big Hero Six soundtrack Immortals, which went down really well). Personally, I don't think vocalist Patrick Stump gets enough credit for his vocals - he's one of my favourite musicians and it was so awesome to finally hear him live. I can't even begin to explain how happy it makes me to have finally seen a band I've loved for so long - it's one of the best feelings in the world!