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The Hella Mega Tour Defines Why I Love Live Music

Hella Mega Tour
Photography by Dylan Novacek

Hella Mega Tour Concert Review. Written by Dylan Novacek 

Nearly two years ago, a dream tour was announced: Green Day, Weezer, and my personal favorite band, Fall Out Boy. It felt unreal; three modern legends coming together for a worldwide stadium tour. Little did we know what was to come shortly after that announcement.

Over the years, I’ve been incredibly privileged with the number of concerts I’ve gotten to see. Whether it was from my internships in local radio, part-time jobs at venues, or my time with Music in Minnesota…I took concerts for granted. Spending over a year without live music was devastating.

Concerts mean something special to everyone. For me, it’s a space where I can feel fully immersed in my favorite songs while being surrounded by passionate people. As a photographer who primarily does concert shoots, it’s my time to express myself using the canvas created by my favorite performers.

Fall Out Boy at Jingle Ball 2015
Fall Out Boy at Jingle Ball in 2015. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

In 2015 I began following my passion for concert photography. This led me to my first arena shoot at the 2015 KDWB Jingle Ball with Fall Out Boy as the headliner. Getting the opportunity to shoot them in the photo-pit and meet them after was a dream come true. It was a pivotal moment in my life.  

Similar to what I said in my Lindsey Stirling review, there was a lot of uncertainty leading up to this show. With the pandemic rearing its ugly head, more shows are getting canceled left and right. Earlier on this tour, Fall Out Boy pulled out of three dates due to a COVID exposure. Luckily, nothing stopped The Hella Mega Tour from exploding at Target Field!

Hella Mega Tour
Photography by Dylan Novacek.

As noted by several publications, this tour is noteworthy for being the largest concert in Minnesota since 2019. The Star Tribune noted that there were over 35,000 fans in attendance (see above, a packed stadium during Fall Out Boy’s set)

As fans filed in, The Interrupters began their high energy set. A punk inspired ska act, they felt like a perfect fit for the tour as they notably won over folks throughout the stadium. Sitting up in the 200 section, they effectively maintained my attention.

The highlight of their set was their cover of Bad Guy. If you want to dive into their discography, their tracks She Got Arrested and She’s Kerosene were stand outs as well!

Hella Mega Tour
Weezer at Target Field. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

Moving into the main lineup, Weezer took the stage with their signature nerd power. My fourth time seeing the group, I felt they did well in shifting their sound to a stadium setting. Following the tour announcement back in 2019, the group put out Van Weezer, a guitar centric album full of Van Halen inspired guitar riffs. Rivers Cuomo and crew impressed with their musicianship and confidence.

Fans were treated to an excellent setlist that mainly relied on Weezer’s greatest hits with a few additions from their latest albums. While most fans were seated throughout their performance, everyone visibly enjoyed their performance and got hyped when fan favorites would play.

As I peopled watched, I witnessed a few dads standing and having an unapologetically great time with the group. My favorite moments from their set were hearing new songs like All My Favorite Songs, their iconic Africa cover, and of course belting out the greatest lyric ever written: WRESTLE WITH JIMMY.

Hella Mega Tour
Fall Out Boy at Target Field. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

Finally, the moment I was waiting for was here: Fall Out Boy. Their stage set up looked like a high school’s edgy version of Into The Woods. Starting the show with a Twilight Zone inspired video introduction, the boys hit the stage with flames.

Pete Wentz bore a flame thrower bass and Patrick Stump performed with his piano on fire!

With this being my 6th time seeing the group, I was no stranger to the level of pyro and creativity the fans witnessed. Fall Out Boy is tailor made for stadiums, and to see them finally get to this point in their career is so cool. Belting out a collection of their best songs from the past (almost) 20 years, Patrick Stump’s voice was studio perfect at Target Field.

At this point, most of the crowd was on their feet. As their set progressed, the sun set over the Minneapolis skyline while the lights and fire from Fall Out Boy’s set grew brighter. My favorite moment was Save Rock and Roll as cell phones began illuminating Target Field. It truly brought me to tears.

Other setlist highlights included the live return of Under The Cork Tree’s A Little Less Than Sixteen Candles… The guys would close with setlist mainstay Saturday off the iconic album Take This To Your Grave. 

Despite my distance from the stage, I sang and jumped as if I was right there in the pit. It’s hard to compare this performance to their past ones because it’s so uniquely special to me. It was one I waited over two years for. And they truly did not disappoint.

Hella Mega Tour
Green Day at Target Field Photography by Dylan Novacek

Exhausted and losing my voice, I found a second wind for Green Day. Hyping the crowd with a stadium sing-along of Bohemian Rhapsody, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers took the stage. Starting their 21 song set strong, they would play American Idiot, Holiday, and Know Your Enemy back to back.

“We’re gonna take back the night. Everything is going to be alright…It’s wonderful to be alive,” exclaimed lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong in their latest song Pollyanna.

Urging fans to stay off their phones and be in this moment together, there was a true sense of community among the fans at Target Field. There was never a moment the band let the fans sit down. Queen like “ay-ohs” echoed in the stands as fists waved high in the air.

The single best moment from their set was when they welcomed a fan on stage to perform with them. It always makes me so happy to see a fan live their dreams like that.

Another standout was Wake Me Up When September Ends followed by Still Breathing. It was a reminder of why I love concerts and a reminder to stay determined through hard times.

Overall, Green Day delivered the most emotional and impactful concert I’ve ever seen.

Hella Mega Tour
Fireworks over Hella Mega Tour. Taken from the nosebleeds. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

I felt so relieved, joyful, and psyched to have finally made it to The Hella Mega Tour. It was a dream come true. Thank you to all the bands for delivering such an important and amazing show. Us fans will never forget it.

Photos From The Pit By Allie Garrigan 

Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan
Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan
Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan
Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan
Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan
Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan
Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan
Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan
Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan
Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan
Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan
Hella Mega Tour. Photo by Allie Garrigan

Dylan Novacek
Author: Dylan Novacek

Graphic designer and photographer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Fan of mid 2000s emo, late 90s boy bands and everything in between. Recent graduate from Concordia, Saint Paul. Check out my work: https://dylannovacek.myportfolio.com/

Written by Dylan Novacek

Graphic designer and photographer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Fan of mid 2000s emo, late 90s boy bands and everything in between. Recent graduate from Concordia, Saint Paul. Check out my work: https://dylannovacek.myportfolio.com/

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