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Fall Out Boy, Main Stage

Pop-punk kings throw a triumphant dance party

Well, now this was unexpected...

In the clamour to pour scorn and hatred upon A7X and Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy’s presence at the sacred home of metal seems to have rather slipped past without comment. Tonight, the Chicago four-piece approach what theoretically should be one of the tougher gigs of their career without fear, and emerge utterly triumphant.

Maybe it’s the gorgeous weather. Maybe it’s because the bare-chested Andy Hurley looks like Brent Hinds’ more psychotic brother. Maybe it’s the sudden realisation that Patrick Stump is a damn fine songwriter. Or maybe it’s simply because tens of thousand of old school metalheads are off watching Twisted Sister, leaving an equally large crowd for whom From Under The Cork Tree was a gateway to our world, to indulge in some shameless, smiley-faced nostalgia. Whatever, Fall Out Boy absolutely kill it tonight.

There are numerous highlights here. The huge singalong elevating This Ain’t A Scene… skywards. The feisty cover of Michael Jackson’s Beat It (featuring impressive shredding from Joe Trohman).The ridiculously infectious Spirit In The Sky riff under-pinning I Don’t Care. The outbreak of heroically drunken shimmying that accompanies Dance Dance. And when the quartet choose to air an unremarkable cut from new album Save Rock and Roll, they keep the party mood buoyant by dropping a few dozen black beachballs upon the crowd. Smart.

It’s not all that long ago since the likes of 30 Seconds To Mars and My Chemical Romance were mercilessly bottled on this stage: tonight Fall Out Boy are greeted like homecoming heroes. It’s a hugely positive development, and one reflecting extremely well upon our ‘little’ family. The band themselves seemed genuinely humbled and touched by the reception, with Pete Wentz claiming the show as a dream come true for a bunch of Mid-West kids who grew up watching Metallica’s Donington shows on bootleg VHS cassettes. And that’s another thing we didn’t see coming…

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.