Last updated on July 22nd, 2023 at 11:50 am
For many, going to see Fall Out Boy is a quick yes – where do I pay? Even at the out of the way Somerset Amphitheater, now owned by Live Nation, with the absurdly difficult parking and a slew of bad reviews.
Bring Me the Horizon, who are currently considered one of the UK’s biggest rock bands, added to the appeal.
Later the next day, it was brought to my full attention why Fall Out Boy fans are particularly loyal and will make bracelets and create whole outfits based on FOB themes.
Carly McClellan of CARR released I’m Just Bored in 2021 with the single “Loser” gaining attention from websites and reviewers. She followed that with the impressive sophomore album TV Boyfriends, released in 2022.
CARR started with their more known songs to a welcoming and attentive but rather calm crowd. Understandable since the sun is hot and we all battled quite a lot of traffic to park.
Most notable is how her vocals sang through the stadium with smoothness with a bit of spunk. Her sassy banter caught our attention and made the show more relatable. She pointed out her cute band members and pumped them up to the crowd. They played well, no complaints from me.
I was bummed when they finished quickly and moved off stage. Quite a contrast to impatiently waiting to get to the main act.
Royal and the Serpent
Jumping quickly into an energetic performance, Royal and the Serpent entertained us with their abrasive and exciting brat rock. It complemented the lineup well with clever and forthright lyrics about anxiety and dating.
Prowling the stage with the confidence of a gorgeous lion, Ryan Santiago sang with a punchy-yet-sultry voice backed by a great band with strong guitars and drums. Bold red lights the height of the stage punctuated the beat on each side.
Royal and the Serpent put out their first single ”Temperance” in 2017, and their full EP Get a Grip with hit “Overwhelmed” in 2020. They were well-received and likely have a strong future ahead.
Santiago hyped their band and the crowd effortlessly and we were 100% there for it. They had the whole pit moving their hands back and forth enthusiastically.
RATS also performed an excellent cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which pumped the crowd further.
Santiago had fun antics that kept us engaged the entire time, including putting on a cheese hat as a nod to Wisconsin. The set was over too quickly and I was pretty pleased with the tour so far.
Bring Me the Horizon
The stage transformed for Bring Me The Horizon, currently one of the UK’s biggest rock bands.
I was blown away by their excellent playing, tight timing, and Oli Sykes’ amazing vocals. They were a great follow-up to the previous two bands and even better to hype the crowd for Fall Out Boy.
Singer Oli Sykes has a way of becoming one in the crowd despite being on stage. We felt a part of the performance and the emotional journey while he screamed and belted out his songs.
While commanding the crowd to create a large circle pit, he was amusingly unsatisfied.
“PUSH IT BACK,” he commanded.
They obliged, but it could always be bigger.
“PUSH IT BACK!!”
Satisfied, he started the next song.
BMTH has an impressive variety of different hardcore/metalcore flavors throughout their songs. He can certainly sing, but there’s a satisfying amount of growling and screaming, especially if you are into that kind of thing.
He had an insane energy throughout the set. Even after he ran around the entire amphitheater, giving many along the edge hi-fives. Way back in the lawn seats, he had fans running alongside him. He made it back to the stage and even his deep breaths and pleas to be kind seemed entertaining and energy filled.
Bring Me the Horizon has a big year ahead. They are set to release Post Human: NeX GEn on September 15th, 2023 and they are touring Japan and the UK starting October 31, 2023 with Babymetal and Yungblud.
Before Fall Out Boy took the stage, the air turned cool and the sky grew darker. We knew it was going to pour but we weren’t prepared for the lightning flashing right when Fall Out Boy was about to set up and take the stage.
I got a phone call that we were told to evacuate the venue quickly and calmly. The announcement came over the loudspeaker soon enough. I was running to prevent getting rained on any further, but primarily for my photographer shielding his equipment.
Fall Out Boy
After waiting 90 min in our cars through the storm, a group of fans went back in to check on the status and gathered under one of the tents and became friends. They talked and commiserated. They sang FOB songs together.
They sang and sang until they noticed a set list getting taped on stage. The security said, “Alright, alright, they want to play for you. They are going back on.”
People rushed to the pit. There was a bit of chaos, but the worst was avoided. Fall Out Boy was going to play.
But I wasn’t there to see it.
A couple of sources said that the concert was being canceled and, while I did wait quite a while, my photographer and I ended up leaving.
I contacted my good friend Bee, who is likely Fall Out Boy’s biggest fan, when I read on Reddit that they played after all. She told me all about how she waited, how she found the community of fans.
I believe she also likely instigated and encouraged the singing and created a space for fans to process their hinged hope.
“Oh no, we won’t go,
‘Cause we don’t know when to quit, oh no”
“Oh no, we won’t go,
‘Cause we don’t know when to quit, oh no”
-Fall Out Boy ft. Elton John “Save Rock and Roll”
She described how even though they raced through 17 of their 26 songs, it was magical and absolutely perfect. It was intimate and personal for the die-hard fans who waited through the storms.
They played a quick-but-full set mixed with older songs and a few tracks from their new album, So Much for the Stardust.
It felt like the old days, FOB exclaimed, like when the cops had to stop them playing because they had so much fun they couldn’t stop. They played past the city’s curfew, doing everything they could to put on the best performance they could given the circumstances.
After this, it became clear why many of my friends have such a positive reaction to the mention of Fall Out Boy, why when we sing “Sugar, We’re Going Down Singing” for karaoke the whole bar lights up and shouts in approval.
It’s because Fall Out Boy are attentive to their fans. They seem to really care. Their honest and poignant lyrics speak to those who struggle, and who need to feel heard and understood. Those who want to live their best lives struggle with each day or each stressor.
They put a lot of care and effort into their performances, into making sure fans are safe in the front and they accept gifts and letters from fans.
A security guard had noticed how much the performance meant to Bee and her friends. He took the setlist off the stage and gave it to her. She was ecstatic over the entire night.
They have grown a lot over the years since they first started, and so have their fans. Their new album gives fresh material and a chance for all ages to explore their music and see what it means to them.