The Monumentour was an apt name for bringing together pop-punk behemoths Paramore and Fall Out Boy for a mega-co-headlining concert. The veteran bands, both more than 10 years old, showed off their greatest hits for an audience who had mostly grown up with them at Friday's Ak-Chin Pavilion show.
Considering the dominant radio success Paramore has seen in recent years compared to Fall Out Boy, it was surprising the band took the stage first. Also surprising, their set, while fun and energetic, didn't win out against FOB. Paramore singer Hayley Williams may have worn knee pads and an ultra-cute boxing outfit on stage, but this round went to Fall Out Boy.
Paramore packed punches with five showers of streamers and confetti, a light-up marquee background and a stage flip by bassist Jeremy Davis, but their set felt melancholy, with a string of low-tempo songs that filled up much of the second half of their performance. With a repertoire as large as theirs, they could have made things more upbeat as openers.
Even more disappointing, despite stellar jams on their current self-titled album, such as "(One of Those) Crazy Girls," "Fast in My Car" and "Grow Up," the band omitted those in favor of the downers. Sure, Williams was spunky half the time, but the rest, with the band bathed in moody lighting, the atmosphere was a little down.
Williams did pay homage to fans, bringing one up to sing "Misery Business" with the band, reminiscing about when the group started out in a 12-passenger van being driven by her dad, and expressing gratitude, saying things such as, "I hope that you feel like you're a part of something, because you are." She got personal, talking about how when the band played the same venue five years ago with No Doubt, they were at their lowest point. "I'm so happy to say we're here five years later better than ever," Williams said, expressing even without two founding members, the group remains confident.
Still, more upbeat songs would have made the difference between a good and a great set.
The audience stuck around for Fall Out Boy, who, like Paramore, played about an hour and 20 minutes. The foursome brought fireworks, fire, and six video screens for some stage dazzle. They barreled through hits spanning the past 13 years, and included some new tracks from their current album, Save Rock and Roll, like the title track and "Young Volcanoes."
Bassist Pete Wentz did his usual pontificating, giving out self-esteem advice, like, "Change rarely comes when people are sitting around waiting for it to come. Change comes from hard stuff. ... You are the one person in charge of your own fucking happiness," before the band played newer song "Miss Missing You." Singer Patrick Stump showed off a lot of personality, swiveling his hips and leading hand claps in-between showing off his musical chops, going beyond singing powerfully and playing guitar to a "99 Problems" remix drum battle with drummer Andy Hurley and tickling the piano keys during a cover of Queen's "We Are the Champions."
Fall Out Boy commanded the crowd to dance and sing along and proved, despite a breakup in 2009, they're still as strong as ever. They closed the show with a bang and proved themselves as a worthy final act.
See next page for Critic's Notebook and set list.
Last weekend: Paramore and Fall Out Boy at Ak-Chin Pavilion, 8/8/2014
Personal Bias: I've seen Fall Out Boy more than 10 times and Paramore several, and am a huge fan of both bands.
The Crowd: Mostly female, about 75 percent, and a mix of teenagers and 20-somethings.
Overheard in the Crowd: "I can't believe how long it took to get into the venue." Indeed, it took almost an hour just to leave, too.
Random Notebook Dump: Wentz didn't wear his signature hoodie. Given the heat in the venue, I don't blame him.
Still into You
That's What You Get
For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic
The Only Exception
Brick by Boring Brick
Let the Flames Begin
Ain't It Fun
Fall Out Boy
The Takeover, The Breaks Over
A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me
This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race
Sugar, We're Going Down
Miss Missing You
Just One Yesterday
Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy Tonight
We Are the Champions (cover)
Save Rock and Roll
I Don't Care
My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)
Thnks fr th Mmrs
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