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Concert Reviews:
Fall Out Boy gives fans a holiday present at the Fillmore
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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DETROIT -- Fall Out Boy's headline appearance at 98.7 Amp Radio's Kringle Jingle Tuesday night, Dec. 8, at the Fillmore Detroit was a holiday present on a couple of levels.

It was, of course, a gift to the radio station, a thanks for past -- and, of course -- future support. But it was also an offering to the group's fans, taking the quartet back into a smaller hall after playing most of the year in arenas and amphitheaters, stripping down the show for a breathless , hit-laden 50-minute performance that covered a lot of bases as it reviewed the past decade of the band's career.

And in doing so it illustrated how Fall Out Boy has made the delicate mutation from alternative rock standard-bearers to Top 40 darlings, the rare instance where it's planted a flag for itself in a new genre as an actual band rather than a producer of hit songs and built a degree of loyalty that doesn't happen often in the format. Having even multiple hits off the latest album -- this year's chart-topping "American Beauty/American Psycho" -- is one thing; that even the youngest fans at the Fillmore on Tuesday, tweens who could just as easily be at a Justin Bieber concert, knew every word to older hits such as "Sugar, We're Goin' Down," "Dance, Dance" and "Thnks fr the Mmrs" is a mark of dedication that's rare these days.

Following opening sets by newcomers such as Tori Kelly, Nathan Sykes and Kygo, Fall Out Boy came out literally swinging with "Sugar..." But "American Beauty..." was the star of the night with five of 14 songs including the title track, the hip-twisting "Uma Thurman" and the majestic "Centuries." The energy stayed in the relentless meter throughout the set, keeping the Fillmore balcony shaking as Fall Out Boy roared through the likes of "A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More 'Touch Me,'" "This Ain't a Scene, It's An Arms Race," "I Don't Care" and "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'em Up)." The surprise was a cover of "Christmas Time Is Here" from "A Charlie Brown Christmas;" not surprisingly Fall Out Boy revved it up into a version that likely had composer Vince Guarldi and "Peanuts" creator Charles Schultz both poking their heads up from, if not entirely rolling in, their graves.

But nobody leaving the Fillmore on Tuesday could argue that Fall Out Boy had efficiently reminded the crowd of its potency as both an exciting live act and a dependable recording concern, plenty of reason for the group to have a Merry Christmas and anticipate a happy new year.



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