By: Joe DeBonis
Seeing a band that brought me and many of my friends through the angst of middle school sell over 10,000 tickets to a show still blows my mind. To go from some almost insignificant emo pop/punk band singing songs to keep tweens and teens from moving on from their middle school romances to almost selling out stadium after stadium on a nation wide tour has to be the greatest feat of evolution a band can possibly go through. I mean, what middle schooler would ever envision seeing their favorite band head line a stadium tour around the same time they begin to see people they went to middle school with get married. Because I am that middle schooler, almost fully evolved into a real person with only 2 years left of college, seeing my worlds clash quite viciously. Middle school and the music that went along with it should stay there and maybe come back up only if a strong dose of reminiscing is needed. To see and hear things that make me think of times when I was 13 while I am actually 20 is not something I want to experience too often, but the night I saw Fallout Boy live, I couldn’t have thought of anything better to do that night.
It takes a powerful band and an even more powerful brand of music to drum up the emotions Fallout Boy successfully did at this show and I think it just speaks to the importance of emo music to the growth and development of any tween. The amount of lyrics I remembered from almost 7 years ago of listening astounded me and proved to me that I will probably never forget what happened to me in the seas of the epitome of teenage development that is middle school.
Apprehensively I decided to get excited for this show. I anticipated a set full of songs off Fallout Boy’s newest two albums, of which I knew next to nothing about. Granted I didn’t even think I knew much of their earlier stuff either until I was able to sing along to any song they wrote before 2009. That wasn’t nearly the best part though. The best part goes to being able to sing and scream and basically go as ballistic as I could with my best friend since 6th grade. We had made it 9 years of life together and to sit back and reflect on all of that while singing along to some of our first bonding music was really something else. The pure joy and excitement we both felt as the opening riffs to “Sugar We’re Going Down” smashed through our ear drums, or the energy that was injected into our veins when the chorus of “Dance Dance” echoed in the stadium was really unparalleled at any concert I had been to before. My all time favorite part of the show though, was singing along to “Grand Theft Autumn (Where Is Your Boy),” one of the first songs I heard by the band and one of the fist songs I associate with anything from my Jefferson Middle School days.
As the show went on, each time Ruben and me recognized a song, it seemed like it was the best song of the night. Honestly, I did not think I would recognize more than a couple, when in fact by the end of the night I had probably been able to at least sing along to the choruses of half the songs. It made it more fun obviously, but it also reinforced the fact that Fallout Boy was much more important to me as a tween than I had first understood. We got to act like fan girls and probably out sang most of the girls around us and it was all due to the fact Fallout Boy in reality is one of the quintessential bands of my lifetime.
Sharing our memories with our other best friend Adam also was something that I took away from the night. He knew literally nothing about the band, but I hope by the end he could realize how truly influential the band was on so many lives, especially ours. It really was just a joyous, nostalgic night that exceeded all of my wildest expectations and I now realize I need to return to one of the most important bands of my life a little more often.