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Concert Reviews:
Fall Out Boy lights 'em up at Little Caesars
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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DETROIT -- Fall Out Boy may not be an arena-filler anymore, but it sure knows how to fill an arena with spectacle.

The quartet’s 90-minute concert on Tuesday night, Oct. 24, was easily the smallest attendance so far at the new Little Caesars Arena, with three-quarters of the upper deck curtained off and plenty of empty areas in the seats that remained. But Fall Out Boy was undaunted as it charged through a visual circus that fortified the 21 songs -- including four from the group’s upcoming “Mania” album -- with a variety of enhancements that encompassed the entire arena over the course of the show.

Nearly every song has some sort of stunt attached, whether it was pyrotechnics or lasers, or inventive staging. Fall Out Boy started blowing things up, literally, as the group members rose from below a clean, mostly bare stage with “The Phoenix,” and was firing streamers into the crowd by the third song, “Hum Hallelujah.” The group members worked their way up and down a long ramp -- also rimmed with pyrotechnics -- that stretched onto the arena floor, while a pair of airborne second stages rose above the crowd for a three-song set that included “Dance, Dance,” the new “Expensive Mistakes” and “Thanks fr the Mmrs.”



A massive video screen aired live and prepared footage, including animations, while “Centuries” featured a provocative video tribute to embattled NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and what bassist Pete Wentz called “a million middle fingers” during “I Don’t Care.” A part of crew members dressed as llama shot T-shirts into the crowd as the band made its way back from the B-stage, while a confetti shower and T-shirts sailing from the ceiling on parachutes helped “Saturday” bring the show to an exuberant close.

The breathless array could easily have eclipsed the music, but, save for a poorly defined sound mix Fall Out Boy -- playing after Blackbear and Jaden Smith -- in solid form for a set list that nicely picked the strongest material from its seven albums. Hits such as “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down,” “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race,” “Uma Thurman” and “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up)” were sturdy, arena-sized anthems, while the “Mania” material brought some fresh energy to the set. And frontman Patrick Stump put a new spin on “Mania’s” “Young And Menace,” with a solo rendition at the piano rather than the EDM-flavored single.

Wentz courted a bit of hometown flavor at the end by taking off his denim jacket to reveal a Red Wings jersey, while Blackbear’s opening set included a shout-out to his “best friend” and Mansionz mate Mike Posner, a Southfield native, along with a bit of Posner’s “I Took A Pill In Ibiza.” “He should be here tonight,” Blackbear declared, and while the acts (and promoters) may have felt a lot of others should have been there, too, the show was still a treat for those who made it.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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