Tonawanda News

June 9, 2013

MUSIC NOTES: Fall Out Boy's reunion performance was impressive

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — On Feb. 4, Fall Out Boy announced that they were ending their three-year “hiatus” and embarking on a tour to support a new album. The result was a hugely successful album entitled “Save Rock and Roll” and a small venue tour that sold out in minutes.

The tour came through Niagara Falls on May 28, stopping at The Rapids Theatre. Enthusiastic fans lined up outside the venue hours before the show, in the pouring rain, in the hopes of securing a spot close to the stage. (Anyone who has attempted this at a sold-out show probably realizes that being crushed up against a barrier for three to four hours without having to go to the bathroom is next to impossible. If you are about three people deep when the opener comes on, it’s more than likely you will be in front by show time).

Of all the shows I have been to over the last few years, I have to say that the Fall Out Boy crowd was one of the best-behaved crowds I have ever seen. Of course, the females appeared to outnumber males by about 20 to one, and since a good amount of the crowd was too young to legally drink, their unbridled enthusiasm was not fueled by alcohol.

To date, Fall Out Boy seems to have handled their reunion perfectly. They created some buzz, put out a new album and then tested the waters by playing some smaller venues before going on an arena tour. The show was tight and powerful, and while I am not willing to say that I left a huge fan of the band, I will say that I left the show with a great deal of respect for them as performers.

Anyone who has ever been in a band can probably appreciate how easy it is for a band to need some time off from each other. Few rock bands survive intact throughout their career, mainly due to personality conflicts and stagnation after playing the same songs over and over.

Onstage, it was clear the newness of their reunion had not worn off. They seemed to enjoy the adoration from their fans and being onstage together with some new material. Again, when done right, reunions are great.

One may argue that Fall Out Boy’s hiatus wasn’t really that big of a deal because bands like U2 routinely take three or four years between albums and tours. What made Fall Out Boy’s reunion interesting was the age of the fans. After a long time apart, the fans seem to age significantly, and yet even though Fall Out Boy has been around 10 years, the bulk of their fans appeared high school age.

That may be why some people cynically write off Fall Out Boy as a pop or emo band, but considering how few young bands still sling guitars and play and write their own music, Fall Out Boy may be the only group qualified to save rock and roll from extinction.

Thom Jennings writes a weekly column on the music scene for Sunday Lifestyles. Email him at thomjennings@rochester.rr.com.