Music, News

Fall Out Boy @ AO Arena – 20 years on and still in their prime

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Opening Fall Out Boy’s night in Manchester are energetic pop/rock band Nothing, Nowhere who, alongside their own hits, cover Linkin Park’s ‘One Step Closer’, much to the crowd’s excitement. A second support act takes to the stage in the form of PVRIS, fronted by Lyndsey Gunnulfesen, who demonstrates her impressive vocal talent throughout. They storm through notable tracks from their back-catalogue before closing their set with fan favourites ‘My House’ and ‘Goddess’.

Soon after, the dimming of lights mark the arrival of Fall Out Boy, who begin the show with their rendition of ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’. They follow this with their latest album’s opening track, ‘Love From the Other Side’, initiating a thunderous response from the crowd who belt back every word.

The stage show is a theatrical spectacle, with flames and fireworks flanking the shattering vocals of frontman Patrick Stump and blazing bass offerings of Pete Wentz – literally, the bass guitar is equipped with a flamethrower.

‘Uma Thurman’ and ‘Heaven, Iowa’ get some of the loudest crowd responses of the entire night, whilst one section of the show dedicates itself entirely to a slower pace. Patrick Stump, at the helm of his piano, is accompanied by his fellow band members in captivating performances of fan-renowned gems ‘What A Catch, Donnie’ and ‘Golden’.

A band that has always prided itself on subverting tropes, it’s no surprise when Pete Wentz declares: “This is the part of the show where we’d go off and come back for an encore, but we’re gonna stay and play some more songs.” The show’s finale delivers emo anthem ‘Thnks Fr Th Mmrs’, American Beauty, American Psycho standout ‘Centuries’ and deep-cut ‘Saturday’, for the die-hards.

Over twenty years on from their initial formation in a small American suburb, Fall Out Boy prove they can still deliver a unique live show and have established themselves as one of the punk-rock greats.

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Ben Redshaw

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