Complete and utter bat shit crazy. That’s how I would sum up this show. There are fans, and then there are Fall Out Boy fans. A certain energy level comes with being a part of this crowd that can only be called ‘insanity’. The atmosphere tonight is beyond anything I’ve ever felt before. Things are about to get nuts.
Leading the charge tonight are locals, WAAX and boy do they seem like they have something to prove. Absolutely annihilating the eardrums of the crowd with their own brand of punk is the perfect lead up to what we’re all about to cop from Fall Out Boy. Energetic, fast paced tracks from the Brissy locals are exactly what is needed to bring the crowd into the right mindset.
Bounding onto the stage, front man Patrick Stump appears awestruck by the gathered masses at Riverstage tonight. Rightly so, as this is the most packed I’ve ever seen it. Blasting full tilt into ‘The Pheonix’, there’s no doubt that these guys are the kings of their genre. The reason that this is called ‘The MANIA Tour’ is due to the title of the band’s latest album, but it could easily be attributed to the energy that the fans inject into the show. Never missing a beat or a note, Fall Out Boy deliver blow after blow of new tunes and old favourites, spanning their lengthy career.
Bassist Pete Wentz has always been a crowd favourite and tonight is no different. Bouncing around the stage like a kid on energy drinks, he never falters at delivering his signature grooves. ‘Hum Hallelujah’ gets everyone dancing along and it’s hard to tell what’s affecting my eardrums more, the insane volume or the crowds screams that can surely be heard from the other side of Brisbane City. Welcoming the crowd to sing the opening lines of ‘Sugar, We’re Going Down’ is a deafening move, but once the band takes over, the crowd pulses in unison with arms flailing and phones at the ready to capture every moment for posterity.
After the usual welcomes and thank you’s by the band, it’s time to drift heavily into the back catalogue and there’s no better way than to lead off with ‘Immortals’ from the Big Hero 6 soundtrack. FOB have no trouble keeping this crowd energised well into their set with the crowd absolutely losing their minds when the opening tune of ‘I Don’t Care’ kicks into gear. Delivering pyrotechnics and heavy smoke machine work throughout, we are left with all our senses satisfied. The smell of kerosene and gunpowder lingers, mixing with the smell of thousands of sweaty people to stay within the nostrils for what I’m sure will be days.
Bringing the show down a notch with the addition of a grand piano, Stump serenades the crowd with ‘Young And Menace’, providing the perfect cover for Wentz to make his way to the sound desk to deliver two songs from a makeshift mini stage set up in the heart of the crowd. There are not many bands that can pull off a show of this magnitude at Riverstage, but FOB are smashing this out of the park tonight. Whether it’s Stump’s vocals, Wentz’s bass lines or Hurley’s blistering drum work, it’s all completely and utterly flawless.
As the night comes to a close, Fall Out Boy have delivered possibly their best performance in Brisbane to date. Setting the stage ablaze with all the pyrotechnics, fanfare and grandeur that you would expect from such a band, it’s no doubt that when they eventually return to our shores, they shall be greeted with open arms by an army of new fans.
Photos © Dan Maynard Photography