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Concert Reviews:
Fall Out Boy Punks It Up At The Fillmore

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Monday, December 15, 2008

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DETROIT -- Despite the meticulous, genre-splicing craft and sophisticated arrangements of its albums, Fall Out Boy is, at heart, still a punk band -- which the Chicago-formed quartet reminded a packed house of at the annual The Night 89X Stole Christmas concert on Sunday (Dec. 14) at the Fillmore Detroit.

Playing on a bare stage with only a backdrop bearing its name, a couple of flashing-light guitars and some fluorescent orange picks as decoration, Fall Out Boy stomped through 18 songs in the course of its 85-minute set, visibly energized by its return to the road after making its fifth studio album, "Folie a Deux" -- which comes out Tuesday (Dec. 16) -- and by the birth of Bronx, bassist-lyricist Pete Wentz's son with wife Ashlee Simpson. Wentz, in fact, warmed to his new life role by telling fans crushed at the front of the stage that "the father in me wants you guys to take a step back, 'cause someone could get hurt."

They didn't really listen, and it wasn't brought up the rest of the show; Wentz and guitarist Joe Trohman were too busy stalking and twirling around the stage while frontman Patrick Stump sang a career-spanning selection that reached back for early favorites such as "Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner," "Where is Your Boy Tonight," "Chicago is So Two Years Ago" and "Saturday" and, of course, sampled "Folie a Deux" via the first single, "I Don't Care" (with The Academy Is... frontman William Beckett guesting), "Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet" and "America's Suitehearts."

Glib and chatty between songs -- "It's fun to have a conversation, even though it's kinda one-side," Wentz told the crowd -- Fall Out Boy also pulled out its revved-up cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and judiciously meted out its biggest hits. "Thnx fr the Mmrs" opened the show, while "This Ain't a Scene, It's An Arms Race," with its fist-pumping choruses, was slotted into the middle of the set and "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" and "Dance, Dance" were appropriately lodged into the home stretch, just before Stump's mostly solo rendition of the holiday rarity "Yule Shoot Your Eye Out."

Fall Out Boy was certainly the king of the night, but the 3,000 or so at the Fillmore gave plenty of love to the half-hour sets from show's support bands. Jacksonville's Red Jumpsuit Apparatus dished up its brand of semi-metallic power rock, including its best-known single "Face Down" and "You Better Pray" from its next album, "Lonely Road," which is due out in February. The Academy Is... rolled out the power pop, concentrating on its new album "Fast Times at Barrington High" and featuring a quick appearance by Fall Out Boy's Wentz (the group records for his Decaydance label).

And Innerpartysystem was the night's surprise with a spirited recitation of its synthy dance-rock, including a playful, remix-flavored treatment of its hit "Don't Stop," that will certainly bring some of the Fillmore crowd back for the group's Jan. 16 headlining show at the Shelter.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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