Fall Out Boy took the stage at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA on June 22, 2014 - the third date of the Monumentour, their co-headlining run with Paramore - to the sound of Sylvester Stallone's monologue from Rocky Balboa. It was a fitting entrance; if anyone knows about getting hit and moving forward, it's Fall Out Boy. Since returning from their hiatus with a surprise album last year, the band has been rejuvenated.
Now, the Chicago quartet are playing some of the biggest shows of their career. They sounded massive in the huge amphitheater, yet their performance exhibited the same energy as when they played small clubs a decade ago - only now they're accompanied by pyrotechnics.
Since the tour is support of Save Rock and Roll, the setlist was made up of selections from the album and their past hits. I would have loved for more deep cuts, but I don't blame them going with the crowd pleasures for such a big tour. (As it was, a good portion of the audience seemed unfamiliar with the Take This To Your Grave material.)
Although the song selection was fairly predictable, the band mixed things up mid-set. First, vocalist/guitarist Patrick Stump and drummer Andy Hurley engaged in a drum off. Stump's solo showed some impressive chops for a frontman, but Hurley demonstrated while he's the one behind the kit. Meanwhile, bassist Pete Wentz and guitarist Joe Trohman made their way through the crowd, instruments and all, and up to the soundboard, where they remained to play "Dance Dance." As they made their way back to the stage, Stump kicked off "Young Volcanoes" acoustically.
The band invited Lolo (known for her guest spot on Panic! At The Disco's "Miss Jackson"), who also joined openers New Politics earlier in the night, onto the stage to accompany Stump on "Just One Yesterday." They also covered a portion of Queen's "We Are the Champions," which was "for the dads," as Wentz put it. Ultimately, group closed with "Saturday" as a shower of pyros rained down on them.
Fall Out Boy had big shoes to fill following Paramore's explosive performance. Vocalist Hayley Williams took the stage sporting a new teal hairdo as an explosion of streamers covered the eager crowd during opener "Still Into You." Williams was joined by her cohorts - guitarist Taylor York and bassist Jeremy Davis - on the stage, while longtime touring guitarists Jon Howard and Jutin York and recently recruited fill-in drummer Aaron Gillespie (of Underoath fame) sat atop a large platform above them.
"This is our tenth year as a band," Williams gushed. "I don't know how that happened." Despite the line-up changes and platinum status, Paramore is still the same band it was a decade ago. The stage may have grown exponentially, but everyone in the venue - from the pit to the cheap seats - felt like they were part of the show. A highlight of the set came when Williams picked a pair of sisters to join the band on stage to sing the bridge of "Misery Business" - and they nailed it.
While Fall Out Boy had pyro, Paramore's festive weapon of choice was confetti and streamers. During the rousing closer "Ain't It Fun," giant balloons emblazoned with the Paramore logo were batted into the audience. The band kicked them back and forth with the crowd with performing. After the song, the six musicians came together to take a bow for their adoring fans.
Danish trio New Politics opened the show. Vocalist David Boyd kicked off the set with a back flip, and his energy remained high for their half hour in the spotlight. Later in the set, he made his way on top of the crowd to sing. The group already has two hits with "Harlem" and "Yeah Yeah Yeah," along with a freshly-inked deal with Wentz' DCD2 Records, so this tour is an excellent way to expose fans to the rest of their material.
During Fall Out Boy's set, Wentz commented about how cool it is to have two rock bands with guitars that are played on the radio on tour together. Indeed, the Monumentour pairs two of our scene's biggest acts into one package. With dynamic, 75-minute sets from each band, fans of both are guaranteed to leave pleased. Maybe Save Rock and Roll was not, as naysayers purported, such a pretentious title after all.
With alumni like Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, and Dashboard Confessional, Paramore has some big shoes to fill by headlinging the Honda Civic Tour this summer. Raising the stakes even more is the fact that last year's incarnation of tour was canceled. With support from New Found Glory, Teagan and Sara (on most dates), and newcomers Kadawatha, the tour has a little something for everyone. I caught a show early on in the tour on July 28th in Mansfield, MA.
Kadawatha kicked off the night with a five-song set. The band was originally formed as a solo project by Sri Lankian Daniel Kadawatha in 2008 before rounding up some of his Swedish brethren to fill out the band. The tour marked not only the group's first time in America but also their first real tour, making their 25-minute appearance all the more impressive. Their brand of alternative rock fit perfectly in the stadium setting, even if the crowd had yet to fill in. It's their loss, however, as the band has the potential to go places. While most of the attendees were unfamiliar with Kadawatha prior to the concert, it was evident by the time the members collapsed to the ground during their set's conclusion that they will not remain unknown for long.
A pleasant surprise for this date was that Relient K was filling in for the absent Teagan and Sara. I was a little disappointed that their setlist only contained material from the last three albums. They did throw in a cover of Toto's "Africa", but most of the young audience was unfamiliar with it. The crowed cheered loudly for "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been", which would have been a great closer, but the band instead followed it with "Devastation and Reform" to end the set. Despite these minor gripes, they sounded tight and put on a good show.
This was my fourth time seeing New Found Glory in less than a year, and they never disappoint. Despite being the elders of the tour, they have energy like no other. Their 45-minute set was more accessible than usual, busting out audience-friendly songs like "It's Not Your Fault" and their cover of "Kiss Me". They still played some fast-paced tunes, including "Something I Call Personality" and "Don't Let Her Pull You Down". During the latter, people came on stage with signs to prompt the audience to participate in the "Don't" "Let" "Her" gang vocals during the chorus, and at one point they held up alternative signs that said "Buy" "Our" "Merch". The band had no trouble getting the audience to sing along when they ended their set with their biggest hit, "My Friends Over You".
Paramore came out to the piercing screams of the thousands of fans in attendance. Light bulbs swayed from the rafters while the band kicked in with "Ignorance". Living up to her vivid red hair, vocalist Hayley Williams ran out onstage like a little fireball while she sang. About halfway through the set, a couch and lamp were brought onto the stage, making the large venue feel like a cozy home. The band proceeded to play four acoustic songs, including a cover of Loretta Lynn's "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)", which the band dedicated to their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.
Paramore's set included a couple of cuts from their debut ("Emergency", "Pressure"), their latest single ("Careful"), and bit of everything in between. As the band played "The Only Exception", Williams ceased singing to alert security of a crowd member who was fighting. She was met with cheers and seamlessly went back to crooning. At the end of the song, a barrage of sparks rained from the ceiling before the arena went dark. The band came back out a moment later to conclude their set with an encore of "Brick By Boring Brick" and "Misery Business". During the latter, confetti was blasted from a canon to cap off a top-notch show with a bang.