Neil Runge | Staff Writer
On Wednesday, Sept. 5, a sea of people of all ages dressed head to toe in black and purple filed into PPG Paints Arena to see punk rock band Fall Out Boy (FOB).
The first act hadn’t even begun to set up on stage yet when the crowd began singing along at the top of their lungs to Weezer and Panic at the Disco music videos played on the big screens. Excitement already filled the air.
The first act of the night was an unexpected pairing for FOB. Every Time I Die, a metalcore band from Buffalo, New York, was an odd but welcome fit. Everytime I Die brought an energy to the stage that shocked the members of the crowd. They were a solid start to a scream-filled night.
The next performer, Machine Gun Kelly (MGK), was a seemingly unusual match for a group with a punk aesthetic. A pleasant surprise was in store for the people listening to MGK for the first time that night. He was amazing. He spoke to the audience like it was his best friend, and sang songs that ranged from ballads about drug use to a diss rap about Eminem. He also played guitar and at one point climbed over the barrier and into the people screaming his name. It was unexpected but wonderful.
After Every Time I Die and MGK hyped up the mass of people, it was time for the main event, the moment everyone had been waiting for, what the crowd filling PPG Paints Arena came to witness. It was time for Fall Out Boy. The energy of past and present punk phase rolled out in waves as the lights went up, and Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Andy Hurley and Joe Trohman walked onto stage. The opening notes of “What a Catch, Donnie” from the album Folie à Deux filled the ears of everyone there and the night kept getting better after that.
Flashing lights, fire and montages played on a giant screen behind the band, accompanying the up-beat headbanging music. It was nonstop rock until about halfway through the show, when the band slowed things down with an acoustic rendition of the dubstep heavy song “Young and a Menace” from the tour’s namesake Mania. Stump was alone at a grand piano calming things down as Andy got set up for a drum mashup that threw everyone back into the fray.
The second half of the setlist was just as wild as the first. Song after song led punks young and old in a chorus of yelling lyrics that have helped them through hard times: an expression of anger towards the authorities they disliked or couldn’t understand. During “I Don’t Care” middle fingers were in the air and shouts of “the best of us can find happiness in misery” were deafening.
Fall Out Boy debuted in 2001 and since then they have been a huge source of punk energy for those that needed an outlet for teen angst. There’s something wonderful and almost nostalgic about raging, laughing and shouting until your voice is gone while friends surround you. FOB seems to understand that and incorporates that into every aspect of their iconic stage presence.