Some critics have taken Fall Out Boy to task for their self-aggrandising tour's mission to "Save Rock and Roll" That presupposes two things; that rock and roll needed to be saved and they are the band to lead the effort. Based upon the show in Atlanta at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Saturday night neither of those aspects are necessarily true.
Fall Out Boy played to a sellout crowd on Saturday night and brought with them Twenty One Pilots and Panic! at the Disco as opening and support artists. By the end of the evening the audience who were patently already disciples to the collective cause left convinced that they'd been at a rock and roll revivalist meeting.
All three bands delivered exactly what the faithful wanted; a high energy rendering of most of their biggest hits interspersed with some newer music. In return the crowd delivered exactly what the bands wanted, a high-energy backboard that the bands used as a perfect source of energy from which to feed.
In a largely stripped down stage with a large video screen as backdrop, Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley played most of their popular catalog of music and some of their increasingly popular material from their latest album. They still played with the same energy especially Andy Hurley who demonstrably loves playing the drums!
They even played a two-song acoustic set in the back of the arena, something that most bands that play larger venues now do as a matter of course.
Purists and some critics though, would argue, that it’s not the Fall Out Boy of 2008 anymore as if that’s a surprise and summarily disappointing; I’m not sure it could or should be!
The band has moved on, the fans at the show in Atlanta have either moved on with them or have discovered them in their latest form. Either way it really doesn’t matter; everyone that was there was enjoying the experience and that’s the most important thing.
If rock and roll music plays to the collective and provides them all a point of common focus, identity and sentiment then Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco and Twenty One Pilots did exactly that!
Part of the problem that commercially successful bands have in staying true to their music is that the money gets in the way. On Saturday night it was literally, as the line for the merchandise booth, (which was as long as I’ve ever seen) prevented the line of people waiting to get into the pit, clear access.
Fall Out Boy have been in Atlanta twice this year, this show and one at The Tabernacle back in June. This one had more production but the one earlier was more raw, basic, and more rock and roll!
I’m not sure that rock and roll is in need of saving, I’m not sure that Fall Out Boy are the band to do it. But who cares? They put on a good show, provided the fans with access and a good experience at a reasonable price. At least they don’t charge fans hundreds of dollars for an over-the-top audio visual extravaganza that has become so corporatized that only corporate staff can afford it….that’s where rock and roll needs saving not amongst the likes of Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco and Twenty One Pilots and their fans!