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WPGM Reviews: Fall Out Boy Live At Utilita Arena Birmingham (In Pictures)

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In support of their latest album, So Much For Stardust, Fall Out Boy went back on the road to play unforgettable shows across the UK. One city that they stopped at was Birmingham, on Halloween. From a setlist that consisted of some of their greatest hits including “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down”, “This Ain’t A Scene” and “Dance, Dance”, their fans were in for a night to remember. But before this, Nothing, Nowhere were first up.

As a surprise and a Halloween twist, the lights went down and Nothing, Nowhere took to the stage dressed as the iconic members of Fall Out Boy. As the crowd slowly started to notice this, lead singer Joe Mulherin made the announcement and the crowd erupted with cheers and applause.

What better way for them to show their appreciation to the band then to pay homage on this memorable day. It added a layer of excitement and kicked things off the right way for Nothing, Nowhere. Blending elements of emo, alt-rock and hip-hop, they provide a genre blurring sound to their music, allowing them to switch things up and keep it refreshing.

The emotive lyrics created a sense of authenticity, as well as the ability to transition seamlessly from the rapped verses to melodic choruses. Delivering songs including “fake friend”, “nightmare” and “CYAN1DE” where Pete Wentz came out to perform, Nothing, Nowhere captivated the listeners with a sound that defined traditional genre boundaries.

Following their set was PVRIS. Making their way onto the stage dressed up as old people, laughter was heard from around the arena. Lead vocalist Lynn Gunn was pushed along in a wheelchair up and down the stage. The atmosphere of the venue provided a backdrop for the band’s moody and dynamic aesthetic, captivating the audience from the very first note.

Lynn’s hauntingly powerful vocals took center stage, singing so effortlessly. Backed by Brian MacDonald on bass and keys, their synergy created a sense of emotional intensity and delivered a strong start to their set. The setlist consisted of a mixture of the band’s discography, from songs from their most recent album, EVERGREEN, including “ANIMAL”, and “I DON’T WANNA DO THIS ANYMORE”. Plus older tracks such as “Mirrors” and “My House”.

The songs flowed seamlessly from one to another and the reaction from the crowd said it all. Even at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena and the capacity it holds, PVRIS was still able to create a sense of intimacy amongst their fans. Ending the set with “GODDESS”, the crowd gave them the appreciation they deserved one last time before it was time for Fall Out Boy.

The lights began to dim and it was the time that everyone had been waiting for. Building up the anticipation even more, playing through the speakers and projecting into the crowd was Jimmy Eatworld’s “The Middle”, followed by Fall Out Boy’s rendition of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire”.

From the red curtains covering the back of the stage and dynamic bright lights, looking into the crowd as the phones went up ready for Pete Wentz, Andy Hurley, Patrick Stump and Joe Trohman to make their entrance. And what an entrance it was. They all came dressed up in costumes. Patrick as Beetlejuice, Pete as the Big Bad Wolf, Andy as Thor and Joe as a Ghostbuster. The visuals overall created a captivating atmosphere and captured the essence of the evening perfectly.

“Love From The Other Side” was the first song to kick the night off. The crowd sang back every lyric at the top of their lungs and the wait was definitely worth it for their fans. With the band’s hiatus, it was a warm welcome back for Fall Out Boy from the people of Birmingham.

With their extensive 28 track setlist, their fans loved every second of it. For the majority of their fans, the music of Fall Out Boy was possibly the soundtrack for them growing up till now. They also threw in a mixture of covers including “Don’t Stop Believing”, “Enter Sandman” and Misfits’ “Halloween”.

Before launching into one of their many classics and taking their fans on a trip down memory lane with “Grand Theft Auto”, “Dead On Arrival” and “Calm Before The Storm”, ans Pete Wentz explaining how they released an album 20 years ago, to which screams and and cheers could be heard all around the arena.

Continuing along their discography with even more of their greatest hits, “A Little Less Sixteen Candles”, “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and “This Ain’t A Scene”, which saw Patrick conversing with the giant Dog puppet at the back of the stage during the chorus, were some highlights of the evening. The seamless transition between old favourites to newer material demonstrated Fall Out Boy’s ability to evolve while still staying true to their signature sound.

Frontman Patrick Stump’s vocals were nothing short of impressive. Effortlessly hitting every note with precision, ease and passion. The chemistry from Stump, Trohman, Hurley and Wentz was wholesome to see. It was evident that all four of them loved every second of being up on stage. As they looked into the crowd, after all the years, seeing all the people staring back at them and singing back their songs never gets old.

The Magic 8 Ball this evening landed on the song “You’re Crashing, But You’re No Wave”. This received a loud applause from the crowd. It wouldn’t be a Fall Out Boy show without Pete’s flame guitar. This became an iconic symbol of his stage presence and part of the band’s electrifying performance, adding an extra layer of intensity.

There were a couple of songs left before the night was over. With “Thnks fr the Mars”, into “Centuries” and closing things off with “Saturday”, for both long-term fans and even new fans, Fall Out Boy’s ability to engage the audience and leave a lasting impression was evident, making this night a memorable experience for everyone that was there.

Fall Out Boy’s performance at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena served as a testament to the enduring power that the band’s music holds. The memories the night created will resonate with their fans and the band themselves for years to come.

Words + photography by Sarah Akomanyi

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