Fall Out Boy sold out this show about a month and a half in advance, and I should not have been surprised that come doors, the line stretched around the Metro to the point where you could see the front of the line from the back, through the bar and next to the Metro.
Gym Class Heroes came up first. I'm sure you're aware they're the hip-hop group on Fueled by Ramen. So was the crowd, and, okay, we were skeptical. Before I say anything else, I have to give props to a hip-hop group opening a punk rock show because there's little crossover in the fans, and it's gotta be tough. Truth be told, Gym Class Heroes performed fabulously. I'm not a hip-hop fan, so I couldn't tell you if they were good technically, but I had a prodigious amount of fun. The emcee really was an emcee (a master of ceremonies). He kept our attention between songs, and was genuinely a likeable character. I'll probably never buy a CD, but you can bet I'll be singing the praises of the Gym Class Heroes to anyone who will listen. If they're on a tour that you're going to anyway, go early. You'll have fun, and who cares about scene points?
I purposely skipped The Academy Is. The mainly teenage girl crowd seemed to have fun, though.
Ah, Midtown. I hadn't seen Midtown in a real show since 2002 (I'm assuming Q101's shindig with the Lostprophets does not count here), so I was interested on how they'd play since Forget What You Know had come out. At first, it didn't look good. Gabe looked like Jake Bannon minus the tattoos; bullimic, perhaps. Unlike their radio show performance, the band sounded less contrived, and much tighter musically. Put simply, THEY BROUGHT THE FUCKING ROCK. They came back at the top of their game, putting everything they had into their 45-minute set. The Midtown I knew and loved two years ago may be gone, but the spark of their energy burns on. I thought they lost it after the radio show, but I'm so glad to be wrong. The songs off of Forget What You Know sound much better live than on record, so please, lend them your ears.
Yes, that was a Monty Python reference.
Here's where I lose whatever shred of credibility I may have left: I had fun watching Fall Out Boy's set. The positive energy, as so many of their diehard, foaming at the mouth fans have reported, is indeed infectious. You can't help but smile as they play, you can't help but sing along to choruses, and with so much scenester bullshit, it's great to see a fun group for FUN. I'm going to call a spade a spade here: Fall Out Boy is a very talented pop-punk group. Nothing more, nothing less. You've heard Fall Out Boy before, somewhere, I'm sure. But if you like it, by all means, go.
That's the good news. The bad news is that fuck is used gratuitously, and if you're sick and tired of every other word being an obscenity at shows, you'll be hearing a lot of fucking drivel. I'm paraphrasing slightly, but here's the bassist: "Fuck yeah! Thank you so fucking much Chicago, this means the fucking world to us!"
More bad news is that girls who probably should stop purging themselves or morbidly obese girls will be the only ones at the Fall Out Boy show with you. Well, that and guys trying to pick up said girls. So, the crowd is going to suck.
All things considered, my ticket price was covered by the quality of the groups performing.
- Onstage, Pete (the bassist) announced that Fall Out Boy's new CD would be in stores May 3rd, and that they would be on the Warped Tour.
- Brendan Kelly of the Lawrence Arms was at the show, helping out with moving equipment.
- The emcee of the Gym Class Heroes said that one of the lines off of their new record went like this: "They say we won't fit into the indie scene because our dicks won't fit into girls jeans."
- Currently in the "thought" process is a Midtown headlining tour where they play only requests. Rob said it would come in April 2005, but was only in the "thought" stage, saying it was still all in his head. No details have been set.