There’s a certain magic that's found only in sweaty, passion-riddled punk clubs when a good band is playing. Four or five guys on stage wearing their car-crash hearts on their sleeves, a few hundred people watching them and everyone in the room sharing the common thread of a love for music and the community it provides.
Fall Out Boy–the Chicago quartet that released a monstrous comeback album, a smash single and toured arenas last year–became reacquainted with that magic Wednesday night at Brooklyn Bowl in the music-loving neighborhood of Williamsburg.
Brooklyn Bowl isn’t quite as small as Manhattan’s Studio at Webster Hall–which the boys played right after announcing their reunion just a year ago–but the 600-capacity venue provided a terrific scene for the gig, a part of VH1’s week-long Super Bowl Blitz. Packed to the brim with camera crews, NFL players and, of course, a few hundred screaming fans, the Bowl was all but burnt to a crisp by Fall Out Boy’s incendiary 13-song performance.
Kicking off the evening with “The Phoenix,” the opener from last year’s triumphant Save Rock and Roll, Patrick Stump & Co. showed the crowd that not a moment of their hour-long set would go to waste. The intensity was cranked up right from the beginning as the group roared through older favorites like “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” and “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me.’”
Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley are no stranger to small stages. They’re a pop band that grew up listening to hardcore songs and cutting their teeth on pop-punk anthems, so along the way up they’ve played rooms of every size. Last night, they were the definition of an arena rock band playing a club gig and knowing the ins and outs of both. Stump made the crowd swoon with a terrific vocal performance on “Just One Yesterday” only shortly after jamming with Wentz and Trohman on a fiery, mosh pit-inducing performance of “Thriller.”
Wentz alternated between hyping the crowd during “Alone Together” and ripping his signature screams on “I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me.” The show was clinical and professional, but it was filled with the genuine warmth of a band that maybe misses those smaller stages more than we know.
But the highlight of the night came during “Sugar We’re Going Down," when Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams joined the band onstage for a surprise guest appearance. Williams pushed the already-amped crowd into a complete frenzy–fans were forced to decide whether it was worth taking their eyes off the stage for five seconds to grab their phones for a quick picture–as she bounced around the stage, trading lines with Stump.
Williams is a complete force of nature on her own and nailed the chorus and bridge of “Sugar,” perhaps making us even more excited for Paramore and Fall Out Boy to hit the road together this summer. (Side note: If anyone in these bands is reading this, please do awesome guest spots every night!)
During a week where countless megastars will shine at parties all around the New York/New Jersey area leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII, Fall Out Boy stood out as an act that has managed to hold onto the pure ardor of their early years even while graduating to superstar status of their own. That’s not something that should be overlooked, and it’s certainly something that those lucky enough to be in Brooklyn Bowl Wednesday night won’t soon forget.
1. The Phoenix
2. This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race
3. A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More "Touch Me"
4. Alone Together
5. Dance, Dance
6. I Slept with Someone in Fall Out Boy...
7. Young Volcanoes
8. I Don't Care
10. Sugar, We're Goin Down
11. Thnks fr th Mmrs
12. Just One Yesterday
13. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'Em Up)
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