Back at the start of 2015, when Fall Out Boy put out another new studio album in the shape of American Beauty/American Psycho, many people were left wondering how long their 2013 reunion would really last for. When comeback album Save Rock & Roll skyrocketed to the top of the charts, it seemed to inject a new sense of life into a band who had almost given up all hope. The success of this album only did good things for Patrick Stump and co, who are now on top of their game more than ever. Last night, the band took American Beauty/American Psycho to Amsterdam’s Heineken Music Hall, together with support from London outfit Charley Marley. Read on for a full live review of the show.
London reggae poppers Charley Marley took to the stage in front of a near-packed Heineken Music Hall just after 8pm, performing songs from Marley’s as-yet-untitled debut album. The group, who are signed to Pete Wentz’s DCD2 Records, are fronted by the energetic frontman Charley, who spearheads the whole project. He and his band looked pretty excited to be onstage, filling their whole set with upbeat, reggae-tinged tracks. They’ve only got one song to
their name, the bouncy Bad Things with Jamaicans, but that didn’t stop Charley from being extremely well-received by the crowd. Whether or not Charley Marley are going to be a name that we hear more from in the future is a stupid question – we most definitely will.
Following a thirty minute switchover, which saw the whole room (dubbed the Black Box) fill to the brim, Fall Out Boy eventually took the stage just after 9pm. The band’s stage set-up featured a moving video screen which was set at different levels around the band, with drummer Andy Hurley’s riser also surrounded by screens. The show opened older track Sugar, We’re Going Down, which immediately hit the audience with a huge dose of nostalgia. The whole room sang along in droves, with the front row absolutely battered by fans pushing forward. Newer cut Irresistible followed, showing the direct contrast between old Fall Out Boy and that of 2015. Horns laced the intro with a triumphant tone, before Stump’s wailed vocals soared through the room ahead of a majestic chorus. It’s a far cry from the band’s older classic tracks, but fans still welcomed the song with open arms. Save Rock & Roll’s standout track, The Phoenix, went on to encompass fast-paced strings and a pulsating drum beat which was complemented by Joe Trohman’s fierce guitar stabs. The chorus flirts with four-to-the-floor dance beats, while still heading down a heavier path. “Put on your warpaint!” declared Stump throughout the track, with it building up in intensity as it progressed. Older track A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More “Touch Me” was another hint of nostalgia, this trend being continued by I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me. Live it was catchy and somewhat ferocious, although you do have to credit the band for putting up with such long song titles.
Infinity on High album opener Thriller (which features Jay Z’s voice during the intro) made for another huge chorus and gritty guitar riffs, both of which intertwined nicely. Alone Together’s poppy intro and euphoric chorus made for another show highlight, something which occurs quite often throughout the show. It segued nicely into The Kids Aren’t Alright, which is one of American Beauty/American Psycho’s more subdued tracks. It’s about as radio ready as modern day Fall Out Boy will get, although you do always get the sense that they still have something to aim for; some sort of ambitious pathway which they’re still to tread. Popular single This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race followed, subsequently making for an absolutely electric crowd reaction. Once the fast chorus erupted, it almost seemed as if a mosh pit was going to break out in the middle of the densely packed crowd. It didn’t, though, with
the band (minus drummer Hurley) leaving the stage and showing up on a smaller acoustic stage in the middle of the crowd. New album cut Immortals and 2013’s Young Volcanoes were both given the acoustic treatment, with fans holding their brightly lit-up phones in the air to give the venue some light. Once this calmer section came to a close, drummer Hurley showed his skills by means of a drum solo which featured drummed renditions of fast-paced electronic songs, amongst them Deadmau5’s Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff. His drum solo segued into Dance, Dance’s intro, making for a rave reaction from the crowd. The fast paced chorus was sung back by every single pair of lungs in the room, with the band keeping the pace going on 2015’s album title track, American Beauty/American Psycho. Although parts of the new album on record are quite over-produced and dense, live everything comes together. In fact, all the new songs which the band played tonight actually sounded better on stage than on record. One such song was Uma Thurman, which samples the theme tune melody from The Munsters. It saw big
balloons be thrown into the crowd, with many of them popping in mid-air only to reveal another balloon inside. This was a nice touch to the show, which definitely didn’t wear thin on the production elements.
Thanks fr the Mmrs, by far one of Fall Out Boy’s best tracks, proved to be the absolute high-point of the whole show, with everyone in the room jumping up and down to its upbeat chorus. Chugged guitars underpinned frontman Patrick Stump, his vocals further accompanied by eerie
string synths and Pete Wentz’s complementary backing vocals. “Thanks for the memories, even though they weren’t so great” declared Stump during the chorus, before fellow older track I Don’t Care carried with itself plenty of swagger and energy. “I don’t care what you think, as long as it’s about me” sang Stump during the extremely powerful chorus, before the mid section saw everyone sing “I don’t care!” back to him. The main set came to a close on Centuries, which is currently the most streamed Fall Out Boy track ever. “You will remember me for centuries” sang Stump, with his voice absolutely soaring throughout the Heineken Music Hall. It was a powerful end to the main set, being followed up swiftly by a two-song encore. 2013’s comeback single My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up) opened the encore, making for one last huge sing-a-long before the whole show (as per usual) closed on old track Saturday. Its punk rock undertones and sickly sweet vocals during the verses stuck with the whole crowd as Fall Out Boy yet again proved that they’re always going to be around. Once the show came to a close, it was very clear that the band absolutely outdid themselves, performing a set which was far better than the one they performed in this same venue 18 months ago. Fall Out Boy may have already been the biggest of a generation, but now they’re starting to do the exact same thing for a brand new set of fans. And that’s exactly what successful bands do, and boy do Fall Out Boy know how.