Last week Fall Out Boy took the stage at the iHeartRadio Theater presented by P.C. Richard & Son in lower Manhattan. The band is touring again, ending a four-year hiatus after the release of their last album 2008’s Folie à Deux. “Put on your war paint,” Patrick Stump started chanting while he and the rest of Fall Out Boy walked on to the stage before two-hundred screaming fans. They opened with a thunderous performance of their new song “The Phoenix” to start their 12-song set. Fall Out Boy had their war paint on for sure that night in New York City. While recording their new album, they have been preparing themselves for battle and they are on a mission. From the moment FOB hit the stage it was clear the band was back, and better than ever. They had a newfound energy that was noticeably absent during the last round of touring for their previous album. Their new record Save Rock and Roll (iTunes) may have a presumptuous title, but by the way they commanded the stage they might just accomplish the albums namesake.
Still present was their legion of devoted fans, screaming along to every lyric and verse. The crowd was donned in matching skeleton t-shirts that had been given out before entry to the show. This presented the visual image of a macabre Fall Out Boy mob, ready to follow the band into battle. The songs they played ran the full gamut of their material. They performed favorites “Where Is Your Boy” and “Saturday” from their debut album Take This To Your Grave. Their longtime fans couldn’t get enough of these early jams. Seeing them live for the first time I forgot just how much of a presence Fall Out Boy had on the radio in the mid-aughts. It seemed like we, the audience were hearing hit after hit. Songs like “Dance, Dance” and “Sugar, We’re Going Down” brought back memories of friends listening to them while driving around Long Island.
“This Ain’t A Scene, It’s an Arms Race” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs” from their commercial smash Infinity on High invigorated the crowd and had everyone singing and dancing along. But the highlight of the night by far was the performance of their new single “My Song’s Know What You Did In The Dark.” The room was lit up with blacklights and lasers, which was visually stunning. The crowd looked like an army of glow-in-the-dark skeletons. Their electrifying performance totally won me over. The band was obviously inspired to write new material because these new songs have such a breath of new life and energy that was discernible from each band member on stage. Though, Fall Out Boy emerged as the last emo embers burned out, my 90s alternative heart was hoping Courtney Love would slither onstage and perform “Rat A Tat,” a song they all collaborated on. Despite a lack of Courtney, Pete Wentz’s smoldering good looks were enough to keep me satisfied.
Fall Out Boy will soon embark on a major U.S. tour with friends and contemporaries Panic! at the Disco. If this show was just a small taste of what FOB has to offer in the near future, I think they might find the world at their feet. They did name their new album Save Rock and Roll, let’s just hope they keep their word (and their war paint on).
PHOTOS | STEPHEN LOVEKIN FOR GETTY IMAGES / IHEARTRADIO