It is not always easy to make a successful comeback from a long hiatus, but fortunately for Fall Out Boy luck has been on their side. After surprising both fans and critics last year upon their return with the secretly recorded album Save Rock and Roll, they are touring once again and seem to be comfortable in their own skin at last. Any angsty awkwardness that may have linked the band to the emo scene in the past has long since dispersed and now a more mature act are gracing stages worldwide. This change may well explain why the band chose their aptly named track The Phoenix as the opener to their latest tour dates, as they seem to have risen to new heights from what could have disastrously spelt the end.
Suspense was created as the band emerged from behind a giant white curtain sporting balaclavas. Cutting through the noise from an arena of screaming fans, Patrick Stump’s vocals seemed to announce “we’re back!” and as Pete Wentz waved a huge white flag, it almost seemed like a peace offering for being away for so long. Judging from the cheers for the band it was an offering happily accepted. Everyone was then reminded of their past as the band revealed their faces and performed two surprising tracks from debut album, I Slept with Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me and A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More Touch Me.
What followed was a particularly well balanced set that satisfied both old and new fans alike. Everyone seemed ecstatic to hear hits such as Sugar We’re Going Down, Dance Dance and Beat It; but newer tracks such as Young Volcanoes and My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark also held their ground with fans singing along to every word. Throughout the concert the band wowed everyone with showmanship, large scale performance and gimmicks such as giant balloons bouncing around the arena, but then there were also the beautiful moments that provided shivers up my spine. Two of the most magical moments were during their performance of Alone Together and acoustic versions of Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner and Grand Theft Autumn. Despite the sheer size of the arena, a moment of intimacy seemed to be created when they stripped the songs back to their bare bones, making me think it would be really interesting to see them do a smaller acoustic tour at some point in the future in order to really showcase some of their songwriting.
Closing on an encore of Save Rock and Roll, Thnks fr th Mmrs and Saturday, the band gave a nod to some of their musical idols with a photo montage at the back of the stage. The new Fall Out Boy may well be a vastly improved band with a polished performance, but it is reassuring to see that they still remember where their roots lie. A truly triumphant return to the live stage.