Fall Out Boy/Machine Gun Kelly - Live in Grand Rapids (Cover Artwork)

Fall Out Boy / Machine Gun Kelly

Live in Grand Rapids (2018)

live show

On Valentine’s Day, 2018, my father, Tom Trauma, gave me a card. Being the only prominent man in my life (due to me being so very intolerable), he felt it his duty to give me a present. I opened this card and inside were two concert tickets. The seats were for the very back row of the Van Andel Arena (row Q), but it was definitely a better gift than any dumb boy would give me: two tickets to Fall Out Boy.

The tickets were bought and the date was set, therefore six months later we scraped ourselves together and went to the show. We arrived about a half hour early and already the merch lines were packed clear back to the wall. Mr. Trauma and I wandered around the arena for a while before I decided I would rather miss Every Time I Die rather than Machine Gun Kelly, the two openers for the night. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

We joined the mob at the merch booth and I bought a super cool, super expensive jacket. Unfortunately, even though the lines were long and we had to go all the way up stairs to get to our seats, we only managed to miss about ten minutes of Every Time I Die.

I’m not sure exactly how to describe what it is that I heard coming from the stage. I’m not entirely sure what was going on. I mean, they had instruments and were playing them, but whatever sound was coming out of the speakers wasn’t what I would call music. Just a jumble of banging and screaming. Whatever helps you let out your emotions, guys.

Machine Gun Kelly was not what I expected. The only song I had really heard from him going into the show was “Bad Things” featuring Camila Cabello and I suppose I expected his entire set to have the same vibe as that song. Boy was I wrong. MGK came out on stage with a full band on one side of him and a mixer board on the other. His sound was much heavier than I thought it would be (but definitely not like ETID). He mostly rapped with a little singing and all the other vocals were played on tracks or he was accompanied by another guy who rapped along with him. It wasn’t terrible, I even enjoyed myself, but I won’t be adding him on Spotify anytime soon. It was a good, one time experience.

Finally, it was time for the band we all came to see: Fall Out Boy. I’ve been a big fan of FOB for a couple of years, long enough to have memorized a good collection of their songs. I voraciously sang along to their hit songs and bopped my head to the few I didn’t know. While they didn’t interact with the crowd a ton, the band played enthusiastically and competently, blasting beats that have withstood a decade. They performed all the favorites: “Centuries”, “I Don’t Care”, “This Ain’t a Scene”, “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea”, and many more. All the songs were accompanied by a display screen featuring one background or another that tied in with the track being played. They could be funny or more serious and it was a very entertaining part of the show.

Fall Out Boy put on a good show, playing a ton of fan favorites and new songs alike. Patrick Stump even took a seat at the piano for an acoustic rendition of “Mania”, that sounded great with his amazing vocal range. All in all, it was a good performance. The show was a classic, with a few surprises thrown in here and there. I don’t even regret buying a $60 jacket.