There are few bands who reinvent themselves quite as much as Chicago’s Fall Out Boy; from their humble emo pop-punk beginnings, to hanging out with Kim Kardashian and signing to Jay-Z‘s record label, to taking some time out and returning after four-years of downtime with songs bigger than ever before, and also bringing many split opinions, no more so than this year’s LP, ‘Mania’.
Sadly we missed MAX, who acted as the opening act for their UK run supporting the headliners’ hot off the presses seventh record.
However, main support Against The Current  may still be in the infancy of their careers, with to date only one album and an EP to their name, but they manage to confidently command the stage with songs that seem surprisingly snug in an arena setting. Chrissy Costanza‘s powerful voice soars throughout the Manchester Arena as she bounces around the stage, with songs like ‘Runaway’ and ‘Gravity’ proving to be particular highlights. What’s more, sneak peeks into album number two cuts with ‘Strangers Again’ and ‘Voices’ unveil that some of their best bangers are yet to come.
After a video countdown of some sea waves on a large video screen, pop-rock kings Fall Out Boy  rise from the floor of the stage leaping right into ‘The Phoenix’, and already the sparks are flying with the onstage pyrotechnics whilst bassist Pete Wentz strolls down the catwalk splitting the arena floor in half. They push right into ‘Irresistible’ and breakthrough hit single ‘Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down’, and already they’ve managed to please fans from every era of their career to date.
A grand piano gets rolled out for ‘Save Rock And Roll’, to which frontman Patrick Stump takes a seat and belts out his incredible voice, covering both his and Elton John‘s roles in the recorded take of the song. The piano and less caustic and chaotic EDM driven take on ‘Young And Menace’ certainly displays the song in a more fragile and, if we’re being frank, more meaningful and impassioned form.
A midway switch up sees the band move to the centre of the room after an animalistic drum solo from Andy Hurley, showing off his speed and rhythmic chops far more than a lot of the band’s work allows. Spread across two smaller suspended platforms, the four-piece deliver ‘Dance, Dance’, ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’, and ‘Thnks Fr Th Mmrs’ before returning back to the main stage for the set’s closing moments.
One of the more obscure aspects of the show is the band’s choice of videography acting as a backdrop throughout the evening, more often than not depicting images and footage not at all related to the song that they’re accompanying, with images of flooding emojis, forests, racing cars, and even both Prince Harry and the late Princess Diana.
‘Church’ makes it live debut, which sadly doesn’t sound as operatic and grandeur despite the arena setting, though the same certainly can’t be said for the massive and pyro-dense anthem that is ‘My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up)’.
Despite this, it’s the truly classic cuts at the end that spark a fire in the fans; the room roars back the chorus of ‘Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy?’, whilst Wentz puts his bass guitar to one side, runs down the catwalk, and pounces onto the barrier to scream the climax of closing number ‘Saturday’ into the faces of the fans.
Seven albums on and arenas still a-filling, the Illinois quartet Fall Out Boy prove they’re still sat upon the pop-rock throne in 2018, and, despite the growing number of peers biting at their ankles to take their place, with shows like this they’re not budging from that seat in a hurry.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.