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Gig Review: Fall Out Boy @ BEC 20/2/2009

by Mary Borsellino

Originally published: Tsunami Magazine, March 2009

Patrick Stump in Brisbane

The pit at Fall Out Boy's Brisbane show was populated by male rock fans (fresh from pre-concert beers) and viciously dedicated teenage girls. The mix made for an aggressive crowd, and yet the rate of security-aided lift-outs from the crush was comparatively low. The reason for this is very simple: everybody was having way too much fun to leave.

Fall Out Boy are a band at the top of the world right now. They played at President Obama's inauguration party, they released another great album, and bassist Pete Wentz welcomed his son Bronx to the world. Wentz's joy was palpable - the smile didn't leave his face all night - and so was his desire to share his delight with everyone in the room.

Patrick Vaughn Stump's vocal abilities are constantly revealing new riches, and now rival Amy Winehouse or Christina Aguilera for the biggest, beltiest pipes on a little white kid. Quiet and reserved offstage, Stump becomes a consummate star under the spotlight, with every strut and swagger sending a ripple of swoony sighs through the teen contingent of the crowd.

Guitarist Joe Trohman may well have the most impressive hair in rock, and the riffs to match. It's especially hard to remember that Fall Out Boy are all still in their twenties when watching Trohman; there's a chilled, laid-back command of himself well beyond his years.

Andy Hurley's drumming is the secret weapon of the band; its furious, impassioned precision gives the songs their beating heart and keeps them in a darker realm than pure pop-punk, in a place where Wentz's screamo interludes seem as appropriate as Stump's soaring notes.

Towards the end of the night, a group of die-hard fans in the crowd held up scribbled signs pleading for one of the band's earliest songs, Grenade Jumper. Disclaiming that they were certain to screw it up, because they couldn't remember how to play it, Fall Out Boy nevertheless obliged. Then, for good measure, they threw in another rarely-played song, because they were concerned they'd plowed through their setlist too fast. These four guys are having the time of their lives, and they seem determined to invite everyone else to the party along with them.

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