Fall Frenzy: Tight Pants And Teenaged Angst; Why The Fall Out Boys Are Ruining America

Somebody needs a hug
Somebody needs a hug
James King

Back when I was in high school we had a different name for "emo" kids. To avoid being crass I wont say what it was but here's a hint: It starts with a "p" and ends with an "ussies."

The kids at Fall Frenzy didn't disappoint.

To be honest, I expected to see far more emaciated drones in ball-hugging jeans than were actually in attendance but the teenaged angst was still palpable.

The crowd was divided by an iron fence into those who were permitted to drink and those who weren't; the "haves" and the "have-nots" if you will and the generational differences were clear.

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I saw Blink 182 ten years ago and back then the crowd consisted of a cross-section of angry mohawk crowned punks, moshing assholes, and your average dude trying to see a chick on some guys shoulders take her top off. On the drunk side of the fence, it appears nothing has changed.

However, with the integration of the term "emotional" to describe a culture, the underage side of the gate; those whose band of choice was clearly Fall Out Boy, the respectable multi-colored mohawk was gone.

I'm sure all these kids parents would have been proud. Look at it this way: The show was probably a nice break from cutting themselves and snorting Ritalin. Still, I say the pants gotta go.

Gentlemen, nobody wants to see your bulge! Put it away. Get yourselves a nice pair of Wranglers and spare us the bumpy details.

As for the actual show, Fall Out Boy is fucking boss. They have the excitement of a band their age and showed no signs of being unimpressed by the dismal Tempe skyline.

Pete Wentz, despite his ridiculous pants and at one point telling all the men in the crowd to "throw your shirts on stage" for some sort of homoerotic dance party, kept me interested. 

I was worried after they began their set with "Sugar We're Going Down," the hit that put them on the map, they would trail off into a sea of B-sides that would put me to sleep.

No, John Mayer didn't show up for a quick bad-ass rendition of "Beat It" but they're a good band, with catchy songs and I dug it.

As for the main course: Fall Out Boy, despite their own celebrity, managed to promote the next act like they were opening for the Rolling Stones and were humble enough to play a very melodic second fiddle to the act the more mature members of the audience were there to see.

Blink 182 is still a great band. Regardless of the fact that the majority of their songs were written when they were still young enough to actually relate to them, they still have the same enthusiasm that I saw ten years ago.

Saturday was a year to the day that Travis Barker's plane went down killing four passengers and sparing him and the late DJ AM . Well, he's still got it.

Barker is still one of the more entertaining drummers on the music scene today. He's quick, loud, and plays like there's nobody else on stage.

He killed a five minute drum solo and sweat more than Shaq at the free throw line.

Ball-hugging jeans aside, Fall Frenzy was impressive. It was cool to see the punks of old matched up with the cry babies of new and yet the songs, for the most part, remain the same.


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