The English rockers put on a lively show while Fall Out Boy showed the audience why they are a Grammy-nominated group.
On a sun-drenched and warm Tuesday afternoon on August first, Forest Hills Stadium transformed from an expansive lush venue with an adjacent tennis court to a rock venue with fans coming dressed in their best goth attire to see beloved alternative rock band Fall Out Boy take the stage for their tour supporting their most recent album So Much For Stardust. Taking place during the stadium’s 100th birthday, the show brought people from near and far, with some fans stating that they flew in from California, Virginia, the UK, and Austin, Texas to see the multi-platinum-selling rockers. Fall Out Boy and the rest of the lineup— Games We Play and Royal and the Serpent opened up the show and Bring Me The Horizon came on before the main act— did not disappoint, bringing lively energy, enthusiastic attitude, and infectious level of fun to the stadium.
Games We Play, a band that is signed to Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz’s record label, started off the show with a playful energy and opened with their song “Trying Hard” and covered “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers for the newbie fans” as some people had not heard of them before the show. Keeping with the candid, comedic energy, the lead vocalist informed the audience that Pete Wentz would be airdropping everyone the band’s new song that comes out on Friday. People eagerly pulled out their phones and awaited the song’s delivery. The band wrapped up their set with “I Hope You’re Happy.”
Royal and The Serpent’s lead singer Ryan Santiago started off her fervent performance of the group’s recent releases backed by a cheeky sign that read “RATS- It stands for Royal and the Seperent, dumbass.” Pointing out her ardent support of the LGBTQ+ community, Santiago performed a version of the pledge of allegiance that was inclusive. Over recent years, the band has earned tour spots with outfits such as Fall Out Boy and Demi Lovato, and it was easy to see why. The band put on a great introductory performance and got people pumped for Bring Me The Horizon.
Having never seen Bring Me The Horizon play live before, I was unsure of what to expect. However, as soon as lead vocalist Oli Skyes walked onto the stage and said “Are you ready to fucking rock, New York?!”, I knew that the audience was in for an outstanding performance. From the start, Skyes was a moving ball of energy, jumping around and hitting his screams perfectly. Next, he asked the audience near the front to open up a mosh pit which they obliged, and a sizable pit formed, with it growing in size as more concertgoers got into the vocal delivery and pushed their way in. Coming out into the audience and high-fiving fans while waving to others after the mosh pit formation and writhing on stage along with the drums, Skyes was an interactive performer who was as expressive and energetic as ever. Comfortable in their new alternative metal era, the band played their recent hits such as “Amen” and went back to classics such as “Shadow Moses” and When “Can You Feel My Heart”, which everyone sang and screamed along to. The band put on a dynamic, passionate performance that cements them as one of rock’s intriguing and experimental bands.
After what felt like hours of waiting, it was time for the era-defining pop-punk Fall Out Boy to come on stage. Two decades after their 2003 debut record Take This To Your Grave, one would think that the group would lose its energy or rely on backing vocals after two decades in the scene. Over the course of 18 songs, the band showed they are showmen who have not lost their edge and solidified their spot in the pop-punk and emo-rock world. After a raucous applause from the audience, the group launched into their show and played all the hits a fan would have wanted to hear, such as “Sugar We’re Going Down”, “Dance, Dance”, “Centuries” ” My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” and “Saturday”, all of which would make any 30 something-year-old emo adult (like me) weep with joy. Outside of pitch-perfect vocals by Patrick Stump and playing hit after hit perfectly, the audience was treated to a fun show that featured pyrotechnics, bouncy balls that resembled bubbles, flashing lights, and confetti. The “Magic 8” moment was indeed magical as Pete Wentz sarcastically questioned why they are taking orders from a “cheap ass” 80’s toy before unveiling the mysterious tune, which delighted everyone. Additionally, the production included a giant inflatable dog head that acts as a nod to the album artwork for So Much For Stardust, seemingly singing along with Stump. To the audience’s surprise, the band brought out Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes for a rendition of “Cupid’s Chokehold” and other songs before McCoy announced that Gym Class Heroes is making a comeback.
Throughout the show, the band stated how grateful they are to be able to live their dream and still perform after all these years, as they started as a Myspace-era band and moved with every successive album. Between covers— Stump performed “Every Breath You Take” by The Police and “Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey— and stadium spectacles, the intimacy that the band could have lost touch with as they grew was present. Wentz talked about how grateful he is to be able to perform music and how art has saved him during rough patches in his life while Stump talked about his process for making music.
Overall, the show was an incredible spectacle from start to finish. Topping off a truly epic night, confetti rained down on the audience during the last song of Fall Out Boy’s set, with everyone smiling, laughing, and trying to catch the white strips of paper before they blew away in the summer breeze. An emotive dedication to the fans who have been by their side throughout their career and the music that made them, Fall Out Boy performed like a band that is deserving of selling out stadiums. Any rock music fan should definitely catch them in concert if possible— it is the best show a fan will attend all year.