It was a slightly balmy night in Melbourne, as the city and surrounding arena precinct was brimming with music fans. With Queen playing at Rod Laver Arena, and Fall Out Boy at Margaret Court, there was an eclectic array of people absolutely everywhere. It certainly was a great sight to see so many music fans across the entire area.
On approaching the arena however, it became more evident as to who this crowd were here to see. With fans ranging from angsty teens to people in their twenties and upwards, including what appeared to be plenty of adult chaparones for the younger ones, the common thread was lots of bright hair colours and piercings.
Earning the right to support Fall Out Boy on this their M A N I A Tour, is Brisbane’s own 5 piece indie punk outfit WAAX.
WAAX have their current EP Wild & Weak out now, and it follows on from their 2014 EP Holy Sick.
Consisting of Tom on drums, Griff on bass, Ewan and Chris on guitar and Marie (Maz) on vocals, their sound is strong and tight, but the standout was Maz’s vocal. She brings an absolutely powerhouse dynamic to the group. Her vocals are heavy, robust and simply suit the group perfectly. Not too many female vocalists can pull off the sound she does without it sounding somewhat strained. All the while Maz belts out tune after tune with her voice never faulting.
Maz’s voice is commanding of your attention, which is a fantastic trait in a front woman.
Given that they are unsigned as yet, I have no doubt that with the exposure given to them on this tour, it may not stay that way for long. Check out their bandcamp site and have a listen. You could well be very pleasantly surprised.
Fall Out Boy were always one of those bands where people generally knew at least one Fall Out Boy song even if they weren’t aware it was a Fall Out Boy song. With a crossover of pop punk and emo punk that appealed to both the youth and the older fans alike. Starting out their career in Chicago Illinois, in 2001, they had stepped up out of the hardcore punk scene, and brought with them a sound coupled with lyrics that had them a growing fan-base from the outset. Taking a hiatus in 2009 until 2013 they returned with the same intensity as before, to win over a whole new generation.
Being no strangers to our shores, the guys have been here in ’07, ’09, ’13, ’15 and now bring their M A N I A tour down under for our pleasure. Having not seen them live before myself (a fact I had been kicking myself intensely for) I was really keen to have them kick it all off and get started.
A few more of the GA crowd swelled in and the place was just about full. It felt like an eternity, but eventually the darkness fell across the arena and the scream from the predominantly female crowd was absolutely deafening.
Opening with The Phoenix, from their album Save Rock and Roll from 2013, it was clear right from the start that they have lost none of that star quality that rocketed them to the top of the pop punk/emo punk/pop rock scene that they dominated for years.
I was in awe at just how loudly the crowd were singing along. The band then played Irresistible and Hum Hallelujah before addressing the crowd for the first time, and they were hugely welcomed with even more high pitched screaming. With intermittent bursts of some extraordinary pyro, the production made for a very entertaining backdrop.
Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down was next and if I thought the crowd sang loudly before they stepped it up yet another notch.
The fact that three of the founding members are still driving the bands success is a testament to their partnership. Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz have this amazing chemistry and their vocal styles compliment each other perfectly. And in addition to this, their voices have not diminished over the years either sounding as good as ever.
What was really encouraging was that these guys still believe in supporting the youth and recanted a story about always keeping yourself a little dangerous as it inspires you to reach for your goals. Like wearing baseball gloves to school every day when you want to be a baseball player. Keep that alive in you, don’t conform to what is expected, be a little dangerous and continue to fight hard to be what you want.
Immortals and Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea were churned out next, but when they launched into Centuries, the roof was nearly blown off with the screams, and the crowd singing was a memorable event. This was backed up by Save Rock and Roll, The Last of the Real Ones, Young and Menace, Dance Dance and Wilson. This was coupled with a remote (from near the rear of the floor) guitar session, followed by a quick escape, and a little big screen humor, which let to what appeared to be t-shirts being tossed to the crowd
For the members of the audience not well versed in all of Fall Out Boy ‘s hits, the next would be first of many they would surely know. I Don’t Care, with its anthemic lyrics caused yet another rousing scream and such loud singing that it rivaled the band themselves in volume, which continued as the lead into This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race and Hold Me Tight or Don’t.
There was a point at which some of the seated fans were asked down to the floor to join the masses as a payoff for how into they were getting from their seats. There was also another roar of approval when as a nation, Australia was congratulated for it’s gay marriage revelation. And rightly so.
Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy , Thnks fr th Mmrs and Champion took out the next mayhemic block of intense tunes..
The big screen and the pyro played a huge part in the whole production. Everything was perfectly timed and complimented the songs really well.
Then it was time for the encore, and whilst we knew it was the encore, just how many songs we would get was anyone’s guess really.
Thriller was the first song of the encore, followed closely by my personal favourite, Uma Thurman, My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up) and finally closing with the very fitting Saturday.
By the end of the show many of the crowd were drenched in perspiration, as the energy and vigour with which they had been bouncing and dancing all night simply had not ceased. There were streamers and confetti everywhere, all signs pointing to a very successful show, as were the smiles on the faces peeling out of the venue.
I was hugely impressed with mostly the quality of the sound being produced and the vocal strength being maintained over the years. Fall Out Boy certainly have lost none of their shine at all.
I look forward to the next time they grace our shores, as they are really a class act not to be missed.
Review Contributed by Jodi Maree