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Fall Out Boy - ****: Live in Phoenix (Cover Artwork)

Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy: ****: Live in Phoenix****: Live in Phoenix (2008)
Island Records

Reviewer Rating: 1.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: skaboomskaboom
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I've always sort of liked Fall Out Boy. They never claimed to be the vanguard for the DIY ethic, and their mix of huge hooks and glossy production makes them an agreeable alternative music choice when you aren't busy upping the punx. Their first live album, the oddly titled ****, serves up all the s.
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I've always sort of liked Fall Out Boy. They never claimed to be the vanguard for the DIY ethic, and their mix of huge hooks and glossy production makes them an agreeable alternative music choice when you aren't busy upping the punx. Their first live album, the oddly titled ****, serves up all the singles from their last three full-length albums, with about half of the set coming from their most recent release, Infinity on High. To top it off, **** has an exclusive cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It." All in all, a package that most casual FOB fans could expect to enjoy.

Wow, what went wrong here?

Between the 14 live tracks on this album, there is not a single moment that comes close to the same quality as their studio albums. No one expects pitch-perfect vocals in a live setting, and the occasional fudged guitar chord is to be expected, but **** sounds like a fledgling band embarking on their first tour, not a major label act with multiple albums under their belt and (presumably) state of the art recording equipment. Maybe if Wentz and Trohman weren't so busy doing completely sweet spin moves on stage, they'd be able to play the correct notes on their guitars. Singer Patrick Stump has some cringe-inducing moments as well, namely the a cappella intro to "Grand Theft Autumn." The only song he manages to nail is the piano ballad "Golden," but that track is just as awkward live as it was in studio, a curious choice to place that slow-tempo downer right in the middle of their otherwise high-energy set.

The best track of the album is their studio version of Michael Jackson's "Beat It." The punchy guitars give the song a more driving rhythm than the original, and John Mayer contributes an impressive guitar solo that rounds out the cover as a well-above average tribute to a song that has certainly seen its share of bad covers. The sequencing is perplexing, however. The band opted to put this song as the 9th track on the 15-track album, completely disrupting the flow of the live show. More importantly, it reminds the listeners halfway through the album that these guys can't pull off their studio magic in concert.

Like any live show, the bassist takes center stage, and **** is no exception. Yep, bassist extraordinaire Pete Wentz makes sure to throw in a few entirely useless comments between every song, only to be almost instantly drowned out by the screams of the audience. Additionally, he adds significantly more trademark grunts and yells than he does in studio recordings. If nothing else, it makes the listener temporarily appreciate Stump's vocals that much more.

I had wondered why it took Fall Out Boy so long to release a live album. The band are masters at milking their fans for money, so it was surprising that it took them three full-lengths and two EPs to get this baby out. A cursory listen explains why -- they simply aren't a good live band. The soundboard recordings from this show almost definitely underwent significant mixing and tweaking to achieve the best possible end result, but most of **** sounds only marginally better than a bootleg. While a couple tracks (namely the MJ cover) are worthwhile to FOB fans, the majority of this live album is a lackluster disappointment.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Simple Plan - No Pads, No Helmets, Just BallsFall Out Boy - Take This to Your Grave30 Seconds To Mars - A Beautiful Lie

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
il1989 (November 7, 2008)

if you think fob sucks live after seeing this then you are all asshole who should burn in hell

http://www.idobi.com/media

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by the patricks voice DOES NOT SUCK LIVE ITS JUST WHAT I WOULD CALL UNStABLE LIKE ALL SINGERS VOICES nobodys perfect anyway

lostandclowned (September 29, 2008)

i like how there are only 3 albums where it says "fans also liked"

jamespastepunk (April 14, 2008)

Hey, no comments questioning anyone's sexuality yet?

Way to go, punknews!

bokonondisciple (April 14, 2008)

This has already been said multiple times, but I want to share my version as well: I was in a band on warped '05, and barely knew who FOB was before the tour. My first time hearing them live was when I was selling merch in our booth directly across from the stage they were "tearing up." As soon as I started listening, I said "Holy shit, their guitars are CRAZY out of tune," and figured they would tune up after the song. Needless to say, this went on for the entire set. And for every other time I had the immense displeasure of being in the general area while they were "killing it, bro!" I've never heard anything so bad in my life. It absolutely amazed me when they blew up later that year, and I still don't get it. Their SNL performance, late night shows, etc. FOB's success in spite of their complete incompetence at performing live is one of the greatest mysteries I may ever encounter in my time here on earth. May god have mercy on our souls.

DJGootch (April 14, 2008)

first of all, Manhattan IS the greatest city in the world...anyone who thinks otherwise is probably from the midwest, or pennsylvania, where everything sucks.

As for this abortion of something vaguely resembling music...this is just a pile of trash, thats all you can say.

Arianeiseatingadanish (April 14, 2008)

The cover of this album greatly disturbs me. People with windmills for faces??? Didn't their last one just have a pony or a sheep or something?

rupertmurder (April 14, 2008)

"i guess they slept as they drove through the greatest city in the world. derp."

I think almost every city I've been to has been significantly better than Manhatten, which is one of the lamest places in the world.

AskedForIt (April 13, 2008)

I saw these clowns one "perform" one night on a late night show, Conan, I think.

It was pretty bad, just as the review states. Can't comment
on the accuracy of the musicians but the chubby vocalist was woeful, he's right up there with Gwen Stefani in the "I
have to skip on half the verses because I can't keep up live"
category.

RISEABOVETHIS (April 13, 2008)

1 thing i dont understand... Why do ppl like fallout boy? There posers

thatsyouth (April 13, 2008)

i saw this band warped tour of 05. not because i wanted to. but they were the last band so i figured i'd see them. and the patron saints of liars and fake is a pretty sweet song. horrible sound. but what was even worse was dodging all the fat fuck girls that were crowd surfing. i genuinley feared for my life.

AlmostPunkEnough (April 12, 2008)

my only memory of FOB live (beside the gorgeous 17 yer old girl in front of me) was at Warped 05 when they said "HELLO NEW JERSEY!!!" while playing in Manhattan. i guess they slept as they drove through the greatest city in the world. derp.

i think i documented this in my review of that day.

time to take some vicodin.

MarvPPM (April 12, 2008)

i saw that dvd once and gotta say that only andy (drummer) shows a performance as on their cds
the vocals really suck cause patricks voice isnt really close to their studio versions--besides he is left alone because pete and joe are too busy spinning thru the air..they rarely ever contribute any backing vocals that are there on their cds -> low recognition value
besides the whole setup doesnt feel right; although they have 2 guitars the riffs seldom sound powerful
the stage show is boring too..
very very disappointing

historypeats (April 12, 2008)

Heh, yeah...I didn't call it org-core back then - not sure that anyone really did at the time. I think we were talking about the Loved Ones, who I liked but didn't think were anything special... but yeah, I see why that sounded unclear at first. I meant that there was a fairly widespread bias toward a certain TYPE of punk music on the site.

I still think this is true (although it's also true that a lot of bands that play different styles of music also earn praise here); the fact that bands pop into your mind when you read the term "org-core" kind of proves it. But it doesn't bug me the way it used to; I figure that the bias, along with the tendency of commenters to declare a band's first album as their best (e.g. "'The Unraveling' was awesome, everything since then has been pure shite"), is just a quirk of the site, and most of the official staff reviewers are pretty good about writing straight-up critiques.

Scruffy (April 12, 2008)

"I remember arguing passionately with some guy about how the rating system for this site was screwed up and favored "org-core" above all else."

That's quite a self-fulfilling prophecy, considering that "orgcore" is basically whatever the majority of users of this site like.

Alien (April 12, 2008)

Does anyone care about this band?
Really. Anyone?

nameless (April 12, 2008)

Why is this the top review when we still do not have a review for the new Pennywise or some of the other more favored bands on the org?

Maybe because nobody's written it yet? Posters can submit reviews too, you know; the general rule of this site is that if it gets submitted, it'll probably get posted.

As far as Fall Out Boy goes, I'll admit that I do like them, and I think that From Under the Cork Tree is a poppy, catchy and fun album. But, live? They've always been pretty bad. You'd think with a label probably backing this album, they might do something to make it more enjoyable. Unless this is done through Decaydance, then I have no idea.

XCARLUPANDDIEX (April 12, 2008)

too much.

historypeats (April 11, 2008)

Years ago, before I'd had a chance to really listen to "From Under the Cork Tree," I remember arguing passionately with some guy about how the rating system for this site was screwed up and favored "org-core" above all else. I used "Take This to Your Grave" as an example of a CD I really liked that got unfairly trashed by commenters on this site.

I still like "Take This to Your Grave," but I don't know what the fuck has happened to these guys since then. The first hint that something was wrong was their SF show at Slims in 2005; they didn't sound good AT ALL. The last two CDs burned through any residual affection I had for them, and I didn't bother listening to this one because I figured they'd be just as terrible on a live CD as they were three years ago. Good to see I'm not missing out on anything.

moneenerd (April 11, 2008)

GUYS: I know everybody is saying that Fall Out Boy is the worst live band ever, blah blah blah. But honestly.... Check this shit out and tellme if you still think Fall Out Boy is the worst live band ever. lol

http://youtube.com/watch?v=J_WUt9JTjME


FUCK THAT IS AWFUL!

I_Rock_Hard (April 11, 2008)

GUYS: I know everybody is saying that Fall Out Boy is the worst live band ever, blah blah blah. But honestly.... Check this shit out and tellme if you still think Fall Out Boy is the worst live band ever. lol

http://youtube.com/watch?v=J_WUt9JTjME

Cyanotic (April 11, 2008)

I just looked it up on wikipedia (wikis are punx) and it's on the DVD, I guess. Oh well, still funny.

thus_spoke_sean (April 11, 2008)

FUCK YOU Punknews. I'm so fucking done with this site.

oh please, oh please, oh please...

man please tell me this is true. it's not even my birthdat or anything!!!

skaboom (April 11, 2008)

@Thomas - I'm not a staff reviewer. It's a band that I sometimes have moderate interest in, so when I saw that there wasn't a review posted of it on it's release date, so I I whipped one up.

@Cyanotic - There is no Panic cover. They play 15 seconds of it before launching into "Arms Race".

Cyanotic (April 11, 2008)

Words probably can describe how much fuck this band but it'd sure take a lot of them. Can't believe nobody's mentioned the panic at the disco cover.

dordon (April 11, 2008)

Maybe if Wentz and Trohman weren‚??t so busy doing completely sweet spin moves on stage, they‚??d be able to play the correct notes on their guitars.

thats not the issue... they just can't play.

though i lol'd @ that

BarleyPat (April 11, 2008)

Fall Out Boy may be the worst live band ever. It's really quite amazing.

caustic_punk (April 11, 2008)

Commercial jingles are catchy.. fall out boy is just plain annoying.
My wife won one of their cd's from a local radio station and left it in my car.. I told her to either take it out or it was getting thrown out the window on the freeway.
I think I read something in a bass guitar magazine where Pete Wentz actually admitted that he sucked at playing.

damnitsderek (April 11, 2008)

FUCK YOU Punknews. I'm so fucking done with this site. I can't believe you would review this shit before Pennywise & Good Riddance. Not to mention the dumbass "sandwich" comments, hatred of any decent band, complete unreliablity when it comes to news, and pretentious "staff reviews". FUCK YOU.

Looks like somebody missed the Waaaahmbulance.

gotsmuch (April 11, 2008)

ps- if you people like pennywise so much, download reason to believe, for free, like veryone else did, and review it yourself. damn.

gotsmuch (April 11, 2008)

I will admit that I paid like $40 to see 44 live in Indianapolis, and stayed to watch FOB. They definitely sounded like ****. So I guess the album is aptly titled.

thomas7155 (April 11, 2008)

FUCK YOU Punknews. I'm so fucking done with this site. I can't believe you would review this shit before Pennywise & Good Riddance. Not to mention the dumbass "sandwich" comments, hatred of any decent band, complete unreliablity when it comes to news, and pretentious "staff reviews". FUCK YOU.

sumwon (April 11, 2008)

I'm surprised there aren't more questions like: Why the hell did they put a studio cover version in the middle of a live album?

That is just baffling to me. Score is for my current bafflocity

skaboom (April 11, 2008)

So how's the DVD content, skaboom?

I iTuned it, so I don't know, frankly. I think it just has their music videos.

maverick (April 11, 2008)

So how's the DVD content, skaboom?

-Scott

fattony (April 11, 2008)

...seriously though, has anyone actually listened to their albums here? Like all you people constantly shit-talking them, have you ever even listened to them? I think I've only heard like, 4 songs or so, by them. I didn't like them, but they were pretty catchy.

I actually bought Take This To Your Grave at the 2003 Warped Tour knowing nothing about the band (it was only $5 at the FBR tent and I thought their name was awesome). I managed to listen to it once, but it was excruciatingly bad (the vocals especially). Catchy? Sure. But catchy doesn't always mean good.

I've also checked out their other albums. This band just isn't my cup of tea, and they certainly didn't win me over with their shitty live show either.

telegraphrocks (April 11, 2008)

Oh, and I wasn't really defending them, I was just curious if you all really drive around listening to Fall Out Boy so you can argue about them.

Score's still for "In Bruges".

telegraphrocks (April 11, 2008)

I'm posting in a Fall Out Boy review with nothing of real importance to say!

Hi, Mom!

...seriously though, has anyone actually listened to their albums here? Like all you people constantly shit-talking them, have you ever even listened to them?
I think I've only heard like, 4 songs or so, by them. I didn't like them, but they were pretty catchy.

I still don't have anything to really say. I'm just waiting for my friend to show up and go get lunch.

Score's for the movie, In Bruges.

damnitsderek (April 11, 2008)

Why is this the top review when we still do not have a review for the new Pennywise or some of the other more favored bands on the org? I know that reviews for bands like fall out boy are the top read reviews usually on the site, but isn't there something to say about punknews putting them on the top of the review section. I would think the majority of the readers here are not going to be too into this and just came to read a bashing of the album.

So you're saying the editors should only post reviews of bands that are already popular on the Org? I don't know about you, but I get damn tired of reading nothing but 4/4.5 star reviews.

Bipedcasserole (April 11, 2008)

wow. good review. i was impressed that you didn't let the fact that it was a fallout boy album get in the way of good, old-fashioned, objective reviewing. most reviewers would have just pooped all over it without actually listening to it. bravo. that said, i listened to one track and it was goddamn awful.

randomd (April 11, 2008)

fallout boy and diy in the same paragraph....does not compute

thus_spoke_sean (April 11, 2008)

Why is this the top review when we still do not have a review for the new Pennywise or some of the other more favored bands on the org?

There should be a FAQ/You're an Idiot email sent to everyone when they register a user name, it would help clear stuff like this up.

You want a Pennywise review? Write one, then submit it.

fattony (April 11, 2008)

Good god, this band is terrible live. I'm actually glad they're a major headlining act now, because I've had to sit through them to see bands I actually wanted to see in the past. Their singer is terrible and their instrument abilities are nonexistent at best. No stars!

NewKid (April 11, 2008)

Why is this the top review when we still do not have a review for the new Pennywise or some of the other more favored bands on the org? I know that reviews for bands like fall out boy are the top read reviews usually on the site, but isn't there something to say about punknews putting them on the top of the review section. I would think the majority of the readers here are not going to be too into this and just came to read a bashing of the album.

Eric

Deadpan (April 11, 2008)

I too have heard they tend to suck live, but when I saw them play at Reading last year (I'm not ashamed to admit that I still dig Take This To Your Grave, about half of From Under The Cork Tree, and a couple of tracks of Infinity...), they played a pretty solid live set. Maybe because I was so close to the speakers I couldn't make out the bum notes from the good ones, but y'know, it was kinda... fun.

Not that I'm defending the band of course. They're awful. But it's a kind of awful that I just happen to enjoy. I don't quite understand it myself.

gettingdown (April 11, 2008)

I heard they suck live

Dante3000 (April 11, 2008)

Somehow their insanely awful live show has been Fall Out Boy's best kept secret. There's no doubt they can write, record and shoot a video for a hit song, but no one seems to mention they can't play it live. Every TV appearance I've seen with Fall Out Boy (well...two I guess) has been startlingly bad, to the point that I'm surprised their label would allow them to do national TV appearances.

I mean, I'm sure this will sell and it won't harm the band but it's good to have solid documentation, for future generations, of how awful they were live.
-Dante

Scruffy (April 11, 2008)

I believe the transition of Michael Jackson having Eddie Van Halen play on Beat It to Fall Out Boy having John Mayer play on Beat should be the biggest sign to the music industry of what they're doing wrong.

flowerfeeder (April 11, 2008)

Can I be the first to say...

Word's cannot express how much fuck this band.

thus_spoke_sean (April 11, 2008)

I won't lie (since the reviewer didn't). I was pretty into Take This to Your Grave back in my 8th grade days.

HAHAHAHAHA, don't worry dude, i was pretty into that album in my freshman year of college.

Killtaker (April 11, 2008)

Saw these guys on Saturday Night Live a couple years ago...easily one of the worst live performances I have seen on TV. I have seen cover bands in bars do more accurate versions of their songs than they can.

shot_in_the_dark (April 11, 2008)

I won't lie (since the reviewer didn't). I was pretty into Take This to Your Grave back in my 8th grade days. I still don't mind hearing most of those songs here and there; it's actually sort of refreshing in a sentimental kind of way. But everything after just didn't have the same consistency. Oh well, maybe we'll get a saucy Ashley Simpson sex scandal/video leak some day!

mikexdude (April 11, 2008)

I'm calling it now! This will be the top album of '08.

keithybobeefy (April 11, 2008)

"Like any live show, the bassist takes center stage,"

I'm assuming you mean all Fall Out Boy live shows, right?

crazytoledo (April 11, 2008)

So if Pete Wentz and Ashley Simpson have kids...dear god, just imagine that.

cheesetits (April 11, 2008)

Pretty ballsy of you to admit that you sort of like Fall Out Boy on this site.

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