Fall Out Boy Pulls Out All The Stops For Sold-Out Target Center Show


Photos By Laura Buhman

Typically, I come up with a super fun and creative intro for you. I definitely had one for Saturday night at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. The truth is, the So Much For (2our) Dust Tour featuring Fall Out Boy, Jimmy Eat World, Hot Mulligan, and Carr gave me more than enough to write about, so let’s jump right into how amazing the night was.

Opening the sold-out Saturday night show was CARR. CARR is a fairly new name to hit my radar, but since it hit the first time, it has become a consistent name in the daily playlist of my life. CARR’s sound is snobby, bratty, and oh-so full of attitude (and tracking) making it perfect for a snarky human like myself. The influence of early 2000s pop-punk comes through loud and clear throughout this group’s sound with clear nods to the pop-punk queens like Avril Lavigne and even a bit of a Millionaire’s sass, but there’s something fresh about it too. Some songs had me lost on a trip down nostalgia lane, while others reminded me a bit of newer acts like Royal & The Serpent. Regardless of what lane you went down with CARR’s quick opening set, it was a lane that definitely got you warmed up for what was to come next.

“Shoplift from Target every time you go!” That statement (in reference to this show being hosted in The “Target Center”) alone, said after the second song of Hot Mulligan’s set, says everything you need to know about this band. They are rebellious and a bit of the odd band out on this line-up, yet it worked. Their unique blend of old-school emo-pop punk mixed with some hardcore sensibilities made them a favorite of mine on this tour, but it was clear that they were not for everyone. Towards the end of the set, vocalist Nathan Sanville asked who was vibing with them (okay, he used a different word than “vibing” but you get it). When he was met with what he called a 40% response rate, he urged people to go get a delicious hot dog from the main concourse. I found this attitude hilarious because, although I felt that this was an odd band to have on such a huge corporate feeling arena tour, Hot Mulligan made it clear that not even a giant arena tour will change their sound or attitude. This is a band that has gotten huge lately but they will never lose sight of their roots.

Whereas Hot Mulligan was all about the energy and snark, Jimmy Eat World brought the focus straight to the music and sound. JEW (it’s okay to laugh a little bit about that acronym) has been around since 1993 and have put out ten albums since their start. They are one of those bands that had one mega, larger-than-life hit and a smattering of other smaller hits yet somehow continued to stay relevant and continue to have a cult-like following. I think that’s because of their pure musicianship and brilliant song writing, which was in the spotlight throughout their set on Saturday night. Although this didn’t lead to the most exciting set of the night, it led to a genuine one that rekindled my love for this legendary band.

Another thing I really liked about JEW’s set was the balance of old and new throughout the fifteen-song set. I especially liked this because, as a fair-weather JEW fan who still prays to their quintessential 2001 album, ‘Bleed American,’ I have fallen off the wagon when it comes to some of the newer albums. The way the newer and unfamiliar tracks blended in with those classics that I would blare from my bedroom as an angsty teenager again sparked something in me that made me want to rush home and re-discover JEW in a way.

Although the three openers were all absolutely amazing, the sold-out arena show was due to the one and only Fall Out Boy. This is far from my first time covering this band, and it surely won’t be the last, but that didn’t change the anticipation and excitement building up in me as the stage was set for the nostalgic yet still relevant pop-punk band.

My history with Fall Out Boy goes way back all the way to when House of Bricks in Des Moines, Iowa was still down on Merle Hay (if you are one of my Des Moines friends, this ages me but also helps put it into perspective). Even though it’s been literally decades and literally over thirty times of seeing them live, it doesn’t get old. They came out like a force, complete with fireworks shooting off towards the back of the stage, balls of fire framing drummer Andy Hurley behind his kit all the way to a flame-thrower bass being controlled by bassist Pete Wentz. To say that these guys brought an over-the-top show to a sold-out Target Center would absolutely be the understatement of the century.

Weird Easter Bunny? Snail? I’m not sure what was going on with the set design during “Uma Thurman,” but I mean, come on, it’s Fall Out Boy. They can do whatever they hell want. It ends up it was supposed to be a snow globe of sorts. Then, at another point, a giant dog head was floating around the back of the stage. The backgrounds continued to get stranger and stranger but showed the sense of imagination and playfulness that his band has always had, which added a little innocence to the powerful performance.

The set seemed to be changing constantly, but it was when the band kicked into back-to-back tracks from their 2003 album that really stuck with me. Just before playing through two true bangers from the group’s 2003 album ‘Take This To Your Grave’ (including “Chicago Is So Two Years Ago,” which absolutely made me cry a little bit because that is one of their tracks that I will always adore) the lights that had been hanging from way up in the air dropped closer to the stage. It framed the band in a way that, if you were in the right seat, would have made it feel like seeing this band in an intimate club rather than a giant arena. It only lasted for two tracks, but it gave me the feeling of seeing them in the small clubs that I used to when growing up. We are years past that, but the members of Fall Out Boy have always remembered their roots, and that slight shift in the set design was a huge nod to said roots.

Fall Out Boy’s set on Saturday night wasn’t without its surprises. The first one was when Justin Pierre of Motion City Soundtrack came out for a hot second during “Chicago Is So Two Years Ago”. Although there’s a lot of amazing pop-punk music that has come out of the Twin Cities over the years, Justin was the perfect guest for me to see because I remember seeing Motion City Soundtrack playing with Fall Out Boy. It also made me so happy to see Justin looking way better than he had when I saw him last fall out in Las Vegas for the When We Were Young show, but that’s a story for another day.

Although it wasn’t a surprise, the moment that the band left vocalist Patrick Stump to his own devices at one point was another stand-out moment. Patrick split his time alone on stage between the guitar and piano, giving the audience a short snippet of “Bleed” from local group Animal Chin, the live debut of “7-9 Legendary,” and an absolutely spectacular partial cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain”. Although I wasn’t surprised by the Prince cover, it really showcased that this band is more than just a nostalgic act. This band has talent and the majority of that talent comes from Patrick Stump’s absolutely flawless and unique vocals.
I’m starting to think Fall Out Boy loves complicating journalists’ lives. There is so much more to tell about the show on Saturday night, but I know I’ve already talked your ear off. I have yet to get to Pete Wentz’s magic trick, but that’s the magic of this band. Their live performances are over the top and full of considerable production value. Still, you still get the same heart that I remember getting from them way back when I was seeing them at House of Bricks in Des Moines, Iowa.

Some bands come and go, but Fall Out Boy is here to stay. Their show at the sold-out Target Center on Saturday night is proof of that.