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Fall Out Boy MANIA Review

Wilmette, Illinois’ rock band Fall Out Boy pose for their photoshoot while bassist Pete Wentz releases purple smoke in honor of their new and upcoming album MANIA Pic: Pamela Littky

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It’s been two years since Wilmette, Illinois’ rock band, Fall Out Boy, released American Beauty/ American Psycho. However, they have announced that they will be releasing a new album, MANIA, on January 19, 2018.

In advance of the album’s release, the band is currently on a North American tour with rapper Jaden Smith and hip-hop singer Blackbear. I attended their show at Oakland’s Oracle Arena on November 14, 2017.

I arrived at the venue around 5:30, about an hour and a half before the concert began,  since the goal was to avoid traffic. The Oracle Arena staff scanned my ticket and I was admitted inside; immediately I looked for my seat which was in the upper half of the venue. Soon enough the lights were dimmed and the show began.

Opening the show was rapper Jaden Smith. As he sang his new singles “Watch Me” and “Batman” he would walk the walkway jumping and doing some type of dance moves, which I don’t know what they were no matter how hard I tried to think of a name for the specific move. As well as pumping up the crowd by asking them to stand and jump, Jaden performed for about half an hour. He was able to capture the crowd’s attention with his hip hop music, but I felt that he didn’t seem to fit into the genre of what Fall Out Boy produces, even though he delivered an energetic performance. He thanked the crowd and promoted his new debut album Syre, which was released November 17, 2017.

As Jaden left the stage, the technical crew started to set up for the next opening act, L.A. hip-hop singer Blackbear. He sang  “i miss the old u” and “Idfc”  from albums digital druglord and Deadroses. He was able to capture the crowd’s attention as he walked up and down the walkway, every now and then high fiving the fans that were along the barrier. Even though I wasn’t familiar with his music, I found myself nodding along to the beat. Blackbear’s 30 minute performance was the best out of the two performing acts as his music style seemed to fit in a little more than Jaden’s.

With an intermission of about twenty minutes the technical crew once again set up for the main event. As people left the venue to buy band merch and/or food, there were crew walking up and down the rows and offering upgrades on people’s seats. I was fortunate enough to be one of those lucky people to get their seats upgraded; going from the seats upstair to the main floor. The lights dimmed down and the main show began.

As lead singer and rhythm guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, lead guitarist Joe Trohman, and drummer Andy Hurley appeared on stage, the crowd went wild. Starting the night off with “The Phoenix” from Save Rock and Roll, the crowd instantly sang along. As they transitioned to one of their old school and most well known songs, “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” from From Under the Cork Tree, which the crowd sang at full volume, creating an acapella intro for the song.

Soon enough they played a piano take on “Young and Menace” from MANIA. As Stump sang, fans pulled out a purple cut out, the cutouts were either the band’s logo or a mirror ball, and placed it on the back of their phone’s flashlight lighting the arena in purple. This act of lighting the arena purple was started by a group of people who wanted to show their love and appreciation for the band. Initially the plan was to use purple glow sticks, but they were deemed as a safety hazard so they did cutouts instead, with the suggestion of Panic! at the Disco’s tour manager, Zack Hall. The fans were hesitant at first, since the Panic! fans used it for the Death of a Bachelor tour, but the Panic! fans were encouraging them to do so. Numerous fans from different states volunteered to make the cut outs and pass them out at the venue that they were attending. The reason behind why the fans chose the color purple was because of the band’s selection of the color for their new album. However, the reason for the band’s decision to use the color purple is remained unknown, but there has been some theories that fans have speculated. According to reddit.com some fans say that “The color purple is connected to the mystical world and it means spirituality, magic, and mystery…” seeing that purple symbolizes something out of the ordinary.

Not only did the fans show their appreciation, but the band did too, through clips and pictures of various public figures; Colin Kaepernick and Martin Luther King Jr. during “Centuries”,the late Princess Diana during “Champions”, and Tom Petty during the last bits of “Save Rock and Roll”. With what they did, it seemed to show where their beliefs stood which was showing their support of those who are speaking up and taking a stand.

Sadly the show had to come to end. The band played their final song of the night, “Champion” from their new upcoming album MANIA. Showing clips from late Princess Diana’s life; basically paying tribute to her acts of kindness that she had done throughout her life. Singing, “If I can live through this. I can do anything”, empowering the crowd.

As the music died down each member exited the stage one by one and the crowd screamed at their top of their lungs to come back. But in turn of events they came back out on stage and did a triple song encore, making the setlist a whooping twenty two songs. Singing “Uma Thurman” from American Beauty/ American Psycho and “My Song Knows What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” from Save Rock and Road the crowd went wild, singing at the top of their lungs. The final song sung was “Saturday” from Take This to Your Grave, as the song was coming to an end there was confetti shot from the main stage and runway as well as t-shirts flying down towards the crowd. The band thanked the crowd for an amazing night and left the stage.

Being a fan of Fall Out Boy and seeing them live for the first time, they were able to meet my expectations. From mixing their old school sound with their new sound from their upcoming album to delivering an energetic vibe that had the crowd reciprocating it, it is safe to say that this concert is one of my top favorite ones that I have attended.

By Evelyn Lu

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