It’s often said you can tell a lot about a band by their audience. In Fall Out Boy’s case it’s made up on identikit scene kids with 80’s hair and skinny fit girly jeans. And that’s just the guys. Alongside the mullets, the ‘new Busted’ – Son of Dork are signing autographs at the bar, various MTV presenters are milking the attention, and James Sherry is looking shifty on the balcony. Downstairs it’s an undoubtedly young crowd which is confirmed by the anxious looking parents loitering outside the Astoria.
Fall Out Boy have been bubbling under for the last few years, steadily gaining a solid fan base with their Warped Tour antics and their pop punk, saccharine sweet teenage tunes. With their first single from their third album Sugar We’re Going Down enjoying solid airplay and running non stop on MTV -they’re riding the crest of a new surge of fans. The screams are deafening as their backdrop is revealed on stage, and by the time they bound onto stage the crowd are at fever pitch. Fall Out Boy are like wind up toys who’ve been over wound, they zoom around the stage, jumping, leaping, swinging their axes round and round until your perversely hoping that one o! f them mistimes it and smacks themselves in the chin – but they never come close -they’ve honed it to a fine art.
Diminutive front man Patrick Stump, cap pulled firmly down over his eyes, belts out lyrics that could be about love and girls and heartbreak, but are drowned out by the crowd. Sugar We’re Going Down is met with a wall of sound, Dance Dance has the crowd doing just that. Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner is a high point, with lines ‘I’ll be your best kept secret and your biggest mistake’ spat out. With bassist Peter Wentz and guitarist Joseph Trohman leaping off the drum riser, balancing on amps and do theses weird ballet spins every seconds – it’s like the emo circus has just bounded into town. Add in a bare chested dancing roadie to the mix – and it’s a proper little skit they’ve got going on.
Pop punk has been done, and it’s been done well. Bands like New Found Glory, Bowling for Soup and Blink 182 have taken it as far as it can go, and you might say Fall Out Boy seem to be just following in their footsteps. They have the crowd eating out of their hand with their on stage antics and melody drenched tunes, but you can’t help but wonder if their leaping bounding high kicks really add to the show. Can they be taken seriously with the overstated poses and Darkness-esque spins? And with well written songs and intelligent lyrics – do they really need the stage show?
Fall Out Boy have one huge thing going for them. Their fans completely idolise them. The singalongs are astounding – every word candy covered lyric is sung back word perfect. But fans can be fickle, and how long before the myspace generation fall for the next pop punk heroes who come striding into town? Here’s hoping the bubble doesn’t burst for Fall Out Boy just yet.
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