Concert review: Despite illness, Fall Out Boy delivers at sold-out Columbus concert

Fall Out Boy perform at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, on Monday, March 11, 2024.
Fall Out Boy perform at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, on Monday, March 11, 2024.
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Tickets to a Fall Out Boy concert should come with a warning: not for the faint of heart.

From the opening notes of "Love From the Other Side" to the last guitar riffs in the traditional concert-ender "Saturday," the quartet rocked the stage at the Schottenstein Center Friday night in a feast for the eyes and the ears.

Bassist and primary lyricist Pete Wentz shot flames out of his bass during the choruses of "The Phoenix," the band's second number, as fireworks and flames erupted from the stage. As the band played "Uma Thurman" at the close of its high-energy opening four songs, a man in a rabbit costume danced around while a large snail and cactus were also onstage.

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During "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race," a large dog head was featured onstage, even singing along to the chorus, followed later on in the show by a large owl that Wentz magically appeared in after disappearing from the top of the piano onstage. Wentz then made his way — again through the art of visual illusion (or maybe a well-suited body double) — to the middle of the arena for "So Much (for) Stardust" before walking back among the crowd to the stage.

The nearly two hours of vocal acrobatics from lead singer Patrick Stump were even more impressive Friday night as Stump told the sold-out crowd he felt "really, really sick" and was having trouble hitting the big notes. Any signs of illness wouldn't have been detectable had Stump not mentioned it, although his voice did show signs of strain during his set on the piano.

The piano set featured a partial cover of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now," a well-received treat for fans.

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Signs of illness also likely led to the band's decision to play straight into its encore of "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark," "Thnks fr th Mmrs," "Centuries" and "Saturday" instead of going off stage and coming back.

(Wentz had also noted during the show that some Mexican food he had eaten did not seem to be agreeing with his stomach.)

Fall Out Boy, who have been touring for more than 20 years, played a show that catered to all. Fans ranged in age from young children wearing headphones at their first concert to those who appeared old enough to be grandparents.

And although the concert featured songs that even a casual fan could sing along too, the band paid tribute to the fans who have been with them from the start. After lowering a portion of the stage apparatus to give the appearance of a more intimate venue, the band performed "Dead on Arrival," "Grand Theft Autumn/Where is Your Boy" and "Calm Before the Storm" from their 2003 debut album.

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Fans who have followed the band for their entire journey appreciated the throwback to a time when the band, who weren't quite the mainstream radio mainstays they are 20 years later, played secret shows at small venues announced only a day or two in advance.

Fall Out Boy's success now and the path their career took is similar to the trail CARR, an up-and-comer in the alt-pop scene who opened the show with a short set, is taking. Wentz urged the crowd to buy CARR's merchandise, noting she was trying to do a "bus tour in a van."

Hot Mulligan, a Michigan band who, based off of the audience reaction already has a significant following, then performed a set.

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Those two acts were followed by a nearly hourlong set from Jimmy Eat World, giving fans of the emo and alternative scenes from the early 2000s a step back in time. The band, who Fall Out Boy cites as helping them break onto the scene, closed their set with their most well-known hit "The Middle," getting nearly everyone in the arena, already full in anticipation of the headliners, on their feet.

The entire concert experience Friday night was a love song to those who may not fit into the cookie-cutter molds created by society.

As Fall Out Boy's performance was coming to a close, the band gathered at the front of the stage for a photo with the crowd in the background. The ritual is a part of all their shows, giving the crowd and the four members of the band a lasting memory — and one that was great.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Fall Out Boy, Jimmy Eat World deliver at sold-out Columbus tour stop