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An up close and personal pop/punk party

Fall Out Boy
"Soundstage" Studio
Chicago, IL
May 11, 2009
Fall Out Boy Fall Out Boy Fall Out Boy

Story by Andy Argyrakis
File Photos by Tony Bonyata

Anytime Fall Out Boy comes to its hometown, there's an insane clamor for tickets that even pack out an arena to full capacity. Though the Chicago-based band fulfilled much of the demand at the Allstate Arena over the weekend, a trip to the much more intimate "Soundstage" Studio gave fans a rare view of the foursome from literally a few feet away. As was the case in a recent Death Cab For Cutie television taping for the same program, this season of the recurring concert spectacle is integrating classic acts of the past with the most prominent of today.

There's no arguing Fall Out Boy's place as the preeminent pop/punkers of the moment and there's no sign of the guys slowing down anytime if this frenetic performance was any indication. "Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes" opened the evening with militant backbeats and the unmistakable screams of front man Patrick Stump, backed by harder-edged harmonies than those found on its current CD Folie à Deux (Island). The set list was culled primarily between that disc and its two other major label releases, which given the amount of hits on each, edged out some of the band's indie offerings.

And while die-hard fans were found to be disappointed with the lack of Fueled By Ramen tunes (aside from the longtime show closer "Saturday"), Fall Out Boy's more recent material is its most mature, witty and catchy thus far. The sing-a-longs came at a fast and furious pace, including "Thriller," "Sugar, We're Goin Down" and "I Don't Care," all of which surged with sugary choruses and aggressive guitars.

"(Coffee's For Closers)" hasn't made it to the radio just yet, but it's undoubtedly one of the group's most infectious tracks to date, loaded with monstrous power chords and instantly memorable melodies. The same could be said about already established smashes like "Thnks fr th Mmrs" and "Dance, Dance," which complimented a cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It," even if that latter track's famous guitar solo was sorely missed.

But there was plenty to enjoy, including Fall Out Boy's banter in between songs, which bassist Pete Wentz joked wouldn't have as many swears as a normal show since it was for PBS. Still, Stump was quick to give props to "Soundstage" (one of the most crystal clear studio/venue environments in the Windy City), while also sharing a shout out to "Sesame Street," which he watched as a kid.

Come July 23 at 9 p.m., he and the rest of the boys will be right alongside Big Bird in the TV guide when this "Soundstage" special airs and they're sure to prove just as entertaining and educational when it comes to lessons on throwing the ultimate pop/punk party. For a complete details on this episode and others slated for the current season, visit

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