Fall Out Boy – ‘The Boys Of Zummer Tour Live In Chicago’ [DVD Review]
UPDATE: TMMP has been reborn! This video has the full story:
Fall Out Boy have attracted a lot of hate over the years – especially as they’ve gotten poppier and poppier. To some, they’re shiny, glossy sellouts – but really, Fall Out Boy’s popularity is just the inevitable product of a knack for writing great songs, making them an ideal gateway band capable of pointing younger fans toward more mature influences. If your lyrics and vocal melodies stick in people’s heads and you don’t push them away with too much intensity and ear-warping dissonance, you’re going to attract fans.
Pop is pop because it’s popular. That’s just the way it works.
Fall Out Boy’s Boys Of Zummer tour DVD may not have the most punk-credible title in the world, but it does contain a seventeen-song set comprised of quality tunes. On record, you can’t argue with the likes of Sugar, We’re Going Down – a song that was and remains a hit amongst Fall Out Boy fans for a reason. Throw in the fact that this DVD was recorded at the same Chicago venue where both Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz saw their very first concerts, and the stage seems set for something special.
With expectations set so high, Fall Out Boy ultimately succumb to the pressure until Thnks Fr Th Mmrs ushers in this set’s final five songs. At that point, the memory of Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down’s shaky and understandably nerve-ridden opening; the short-selling guitar and bass tones that drain the first electric section of this show of vital energy while Patrick Stump’s unmistakable and consistent vocal shines through; and the fat-sounding but ultimately lame American Beauty / American Psycho and Uma Thurman can be left well behind as Fall Out Boy deliver one of their all-time great performances. That said, the short acoustic-in-the-crowd section made up of Immortals and Young Volcanoes remains another highlight, as does the fully electrified and electrifying Dance Dance.
As a long-time Fall Out Boy fan, this was a fascinating DVD – but too often for the wrong reasons. The overall impression was one of a band struggling to hold it together – and, to be fair, pulling it off in the final stretch – under self-imposed perfectionistic pressure while tackling the opportunity of a lifetime. Thnks Fr Th Mmrs, I Don’t Care, Centuries, My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark, and Saturday are all top-class cuts to be proud of, without a doubt – but given that over two thirds of this set are such a mixed bag, and final song Saturday gets ruined by Pete Wentz’s decision to abandon his bass, unleash some terrible screams, and steal the spotlight from his bandmates by high-fiving as much of the front row as possible, I can only honestly recommend Boys Of Zummer if Fall Out Boy are your favourite band in the world.
TMMP RATING: 70%
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