Riot Fest Chicago: Fall Out Boy, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Screeching Weasel

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Early in the evening, Ben Weasel of Screeching Weasel encouraged fans to check out Fall Out Boy "even though people don't like them." Fall Out Boy has its share of haters, and I can understand why. Personally, I really enjoy their older stuff, which basically sounds like Saves the Day. I can't get into the new album at all, but I was in the minority among fans that went absolutely apeshit during Fall Out Boy's set.

Girls screamed with the fervor of a Backstreet Boys show. Fans eagerly pawed their way toward the stage, in some cases, putting others in danger. Vocalist/guitarist Patrick Stump delayed playing a few songs to tell the crowd to help each other out, insisting that the band wouldn't play until the crowd calmed down. A girl was brought out on a stretcher as he said "I think we need a wheelchair." Standing on the left side of the stage, I saw another fan brought out on a stretcher, with a girl crying nearby. I also overheard a couple girls complain about getting trampled near the front.

I must have been a safe distance away, because I was surrounded by fans who enthusiastically sang along and didn't really push others. In fact, it was cool to see a band with a caliber like Fall Out Boy play in its hometown and headline a day of a large festival. Fans at the band's Marquee Theatre show a few months ago were pretty into it, but Chicago Fall Out Boy fans brought it to a whole new level. Not surprisingly, the band's radio hits were the best received--"Sugar We're Going Down," "Dance Dance," "Grand Theft Autumn," etc., though the bulk of the crowd seemed to also enjoy tracks from Save Rock and Roll.

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Melissa Fossum
Contact: Melissa Fossum