Music Review: Fall Out Boy! 👑🔼➕ #FOB

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Hi Readers! Ok so here is kind of a special post for me as I am writing about one of my favorite bands that means a lot to me Fall Out Boy! I have been in love with them since I was 14 and they have helped me get through some rough times in my life. Anyway here is their story and some of their songs that I love.

Fall Out Boy are Patrick Stump on vocals/guitar, Joe Trohman on guitar, Andy Hurley on drums and Pete Wentz on bass hailing from Wilmette, Illinois the suburb of Chicago. They started their journey in 2001 coming out of the Chicago hardcore punk scene which Pete was heavily involved in. It started out in high school where friends Pete and Joe met and Pete was into the small hardcore/metelcore scene of the late ’90s playing in various bands. At this this point though Pete was getting tired of the ever changing mores of the community, which he viewed as a transition from the more political activism to more moshing and breakdowns. Pete had been in the some what successful metelcore band Arma Angelus who graced the cover of some magazines early on but was starting to wane. So he started a pop punk side project with Joe as an escapist band. Joe then met Patrick Stump, and the then drummer of the grindcore band Xgrinding processX at a Borders bookstore in Wilmette. Patrick found it as a way to try out for local hardcore celebrity Pete and showed him some acoustic recordings he had done. At first Patrick wanted to be the drummer of the band but Joe was like maybe you should do some acoustic stuff on your guitar. Pete wanted Andy Hurley from the group Racetraitor as the drummer of the group but he was too busy at the time.

The band had their first public performance with orginial guitarist and drummer at the time at the DePaul University along side Black Sabbath among other bands. John Flamandan guitarist and drummer Ben Rose at the time described it looking back as “goofy” and “bad” but Joe tried to make the band work, picking up members for practice. Patrick and Pete argued over the band’s name both bringing her style to the table and eventually created a short list of names that included the Simpsons reference “Fall Out Boy” and friends voted on it. At their second live performance at southern Illinois University with The Killing Tree, Pete introduced the band under a really long name and some one in the audience called out Fall Out Boy and the band was later credited as such by The Killing Tree’s front man which worked since Joe and Patrick where die-hard Simpsons fans and looked up to Tim Mcllrath so it stuck.

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A few more drummers passed through the group at the time while Patrick started to get uninterested with the band and Pete was hyping it up to be the thing to make them famous and getting their name out there via social media (this was the MySpace and message board time). Then Uprising Records owner Sean Muttaqi herd the band and took interest wanting to sell their demo as a split with Andy’s band Project Rocket which the band viewed a competition although they had only written three songs. Uprising desired to put out and album with them and out of this came Fall Out Boys first album Evening Out with Your Girlfriend which took them two days to write which felt rushed and left the band discontent. When they went to Madison, Wisconsin’s Smart House to record their three songs 504 Plan engineer Sean O’ Keefe suggested they record with Andy. He was in Madison recording a new record for his band the same day but rushed over to lay down drums for the group. Although it was still a fill in with Andy, Pete says “it felt different. It was one of those “a-ha” moments.”

The band kicked off a small two-week tour with Spitalfield and asked Andy to fill in once more while Patrick borrowed one of Joe’s guitars for the gig. After this tour the consensus of the band was Andy was their new and permanent drummer and they proceeded to shop around their three songs to different pop-punk labels like Drive-Thru Records. Their first manager after much discussion was Bob McLynn of Crush Management and went back into the studio O’ Keefe to record several more tracks for the dem0 to create label interest. At this point though Pete felt he was not as need in the band in terms of song writing but Patrick  argued in his favor. An early copy of one their songs hit online and John Janick herd of Fueled by Ramen herd it and cold-called the band at their apartment they shared together and ended up talking to Pete for an hour. Rob Stevenson from Island Records eventually offered the band deal which they gave them money to sign to Fueled by Ramen  for their one-off debut, knowing the become radio hits by their sophomore record. Fueled by Ramen being a small indie label at the time wanted to sign the band, released their debut album and helped build their fan base before they moved back to Island Records.

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For their first label debut, Take This To Your Grave was released by Fueled by Ramen in 2003. They worked with O’ Keefe again to produce the album and Pete wrote the lyrics and Patrick wrote the melodies. Evenings Out With Your Girlfriend didn’t see its label debut until right before the release of Take This To Your Grave. The band had tried to stop Uprising from releasing the record though as their relationship with Sean Muttaqi became sour and they felt the album was a big piece of garbage before Andy was in the band. They started doing bigger shows as the labels pushed their music more mainstream at places like SXSW and Warped Tour to which they got positive reviews. In the summer of 2004 during one of their Warped Tour Shows, their stage clasped due to too many people and they had to finish their set acapella. The band were on the cover of the August 2004 edition of Alternative Press (AP) and also listening stations at Hot Topic helped the album move 2,000-3,000 copies per week and by Christmas 2004, the band was tipping mainstream success.

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The band was getting bigger and bigger with more praise as the next big thing and before releasing their sophomore effort they but out the EP/DVD My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue. This EP was their first to chart on the billboard 200 at number 153. For their sophomore album From Under the Cork Tree, which they record in Burbank, California and was the first time they stayed in California for an extended period of time. They stayed in corporate housing and took a more gradual pace in contrast to their last album. It was the first Fall Out Boy record where Pete wrote all the lyrics and Patrick wrote all the music. The first single for the album Sugar We’re Going Down and where doing really well until Pete became with drawled from the band and becoming very dark before committing a suicide attempt. He took a hand full of pills in a Chicago Best Buy parking lot and later was rushed to the hospital and had his stomach pumped. Pete later moved back home with his parents in Wilmette.

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From Under the Cork Tree debuted and peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200 when it came out in May of 2005. It’s breakthrough single “Sugar We’re Going Down” which reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in September of 2005 as well as their second single “Dance, Dance” which was also a top 10 hit. (which was certified 3x Platinum in 2014) The success of this record led them to stardom among teens in the US and their first arena tour had them playing to 10,000 or more kids the MySpace and skinny-jeans wearing crowd. With support from Under the Cork Tree, they did international tours, TRL visits, late-night television appearances and music award shows. They then performed at many festivals in 2005-’06 including the third Nintendo Fusion Tour in the fall of ’05 with Motion City Soundtrack, Panic! At The Disco and a few other bands on a 31 city tour. The album earned them a best new artist nod at the Grammys and sold over 2.7 million copies in the US becoming their best selling album yet.

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As the Fall Out Boy became more and more famous Pete became the most public figure in the band from coming out about his suicide attempt to the press to his nude leeks in 2006. He also started a clothing line, his Decaydance record label (an imprint of Fueled By Raman) and his then relationship with Ashlee Simpsons which became tabloid staples. The band then went on a huge pop-punk tour after winning big at the MTV VMAs with The All-American Rejects, and Hawthorne Heights playing 53 dates in the US, Canada & the UK.

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After a two-month break following the tour, Fall Out Boy went back into the studio to record their follow up album Infinity on High in 2007. They recorded it with Island and this album was more of a departure from their sound as they mixed funk, R&B and flamenco on the record. According to Billboard, Fall Out Boy “drifts further from its hardcore punk roots to write increasingly accessible pop tunes.” Although their departure from more pop punk sounds, Infinity’s first week was their biggest selling week, selling over 260,000 copies and debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. They charted due to their lead single “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” which reached no. 2 and their second single “Thnks fr th Mmrs” which charted no. 11 and sold over two million copies in the US.

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In 2007, Fall Out Boy headlined the Honda Civic Tour to promote the album with supporting acts like The Academy Is… and Cobra Starship as well as the Young Wild Things Tour based on the 1963 Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are featuring Gym Class Heroes and Plain White T’s. The success of their tours drew them to release the live album in 2008 Live In Phoenix which figured footage of their concert at Phoenix’s Cricket Wireless Pavilion. The disc also included a cover of Michael Jackson’s classic Beat It with John Mayer guesting a guitar solo and was released as a single which became a chart mainstay on the top ten iTunes.

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In 2008 the band went back into the studio to record their fourth album Folie a Deux. They decided to keep publicity down as they were still riding on the press of Infinity on High and as tensions began to rise among the recording. Patrick calls the recording “painful” saying him and Pete quarreled over many writing issues while Joe and Andy felt left out of the writing of previous albums they got more freedom with this album. This album sadly came at a weird time in the US as the music industry was changing, record sales were declining, lack of Music Video networks (MTV, VH1) and the downfall of the US economy. So to promote this album Pete launched a viral campaign in August 2008, inspired by George Orwell’s 1984 and the Big Brother organization.

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The album was released in December of 2008 and did not do as well as their previous releases. It debuted at no. 8 on the Billboard 200 and the first weeks sales of 150,000 and became Fall Out Boys third consecutive top ten album. Their lead single I Don’t Care peaked at no. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and they went on the Believers Never Die Tour Part Deux tour and then put out their greatest hits album Believers Never Die- Greatest Hits. After these albums the band decided to take a hiatus due to their disillusionment with the music industry and each other. Before their break they played their last show at Madison Square Garden on October 4, 2009 and towards the end Mark Hoppus from Blink-182 shaved Pete’s head in a “symbolic cleansing of the past” says Rolling Stone Magazine.

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During this hiatus the band dealt with some challenges as they were all depressed and need some time away from each other. Patrick was dealing with his increasing weight issues and the image of the band, Andy went through a deep depression and Pete started abusing drugs which led to his wife Ashlee Simpson divorcing him and a custody battle over his son. They also all did some other projects during the hiatus. Patrick put out an solo album called Soul Punk which was met with mixed but mostly bad reviews. Due to the bad reviews of the album Patrick ended up putting out 1500-word blog post called We Liked You Better Fat: Confessions of a Pariah dealing with all the hate.

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Pete started the band the Black Cards and put out an album and started hosting the tattoo competition show called Best Ink. Andy & Joe ended up playing in metel bands. Towards the end of the hiatus Patrick end up loosing 60 pounds through exercise and diet and although the band were taking a break Pete was Patrick’s best man of his wedding and all things considered was beneficial for the band. It gave them time to deal with growing up.

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After a few years away Patrick and Pete met up in early 2012 for a writing session where they wrote a few songs which didn’t feel right as they wanted a more modern take to their music. They wanted to reinvent their sound and make it more pop. A few months later they had a secret meeting at their manager’s home in NYC to talk about putting out a new album. Joe was the last one to be contacted as he had other projects he was working on he had a list of stipulations on rejoining the band as he wanted to have control over writing and Patrick reassured him saying he needed to be writing more.Although the writing was hard they did this album in secret from the media, critics and their fans. They officially announced the reunion tour and album Save Rock & Roll on February 4th, 2013 on their website saying “when we were kids the only thing that got us through most days was music. It’s why we started Fall Out Boy in the first place. This isn’t a reunion because we never broke up. We needed to plug back in and make some music that matters to us. The future of Fall Out Boy starts now. Save rock and roll…”

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Save Rock & Roll debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 and their lead single My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up) peaked at no. 13 on the Hot 100. The inspirations for their music video series The Young Blood Chronicles which were released between February 2013-May 2014 was Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555: The Story of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. After headlining their Save Rock & Roll worldwide tour they put out their hardcore punk-influenced album PAX AM Days with Ryan Adams in late 2013. In the summer of 2014 they co-headlined their highly successful Monumentour with Fueled by Raman’s Paramore which closed the Save Rock & Roll era.

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Then in late 2014, Patrick and Pete wrote some more music and ended up putting out Centuries the lead single off their sixth studio album on September 9th peaking at no. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and no. 13 on the Top 40. Fall Out Boy also did a few guest spots like Back to Earth from Steve Aoki’s sophomore album Neon Future I released September 30 and remade the Chicago Bull’s anthem Only the Bulls with Lupe Fiasco. They also did a song for the soundtrack of the Dsiney/Marvel movie Big Hero 6 called Immortals.

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On January 20, 2015 their sixth album American Beauty/American Psycho which debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts and had release parties for the album in Chicago and London. This summer they will be taking this album on the road on a co-headliner tour called the Boys of Zummer tour with Wiz Khalifa and Hoodie Allen.

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That is Fall Out Boy in a nut shell. Fall Out Boy & My Story: Basically a kid from the suburbs of Northern Virgina who fell in love with a band who gave her something that was hers. In a house full of too many people, craziness at school and feeling as though your best friend might be going in the wrong direction and how you might be loosing her. I was 14 and I just started 8th grade in 2005. My best friend was turning more dark and listening to a lot more rock music and of course because I wanted to be apart of her new “club” so I started listening to rock too. Started listening to the radio stations my older sister and brother always listened to and at that time pop-punk was hitting the air waves like crazy. Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, Taking Back Sunday and All American Rejects were hit up the charts and you couldn’t escape it.

At the time the only rock I really knew was like classic rock and the music my sister and brother listened to like Incubus, Coldplay, Dave Mathews Band, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters and Jack Johnson. This music was a little bit heavier then that but still had this poppieness to it. I didn’t really have a music genera I was really into at the time and I knew that the 2004 Green Day album was doing really well and they were these rock guys who wore black and fit into my best friends circle of music and that Fall Out Boy were like the baby brothers or something. It just kind of grew out of that organically and they kind of stuck with me.

During that time I was also going through a lot with school as my trying to get a handle of my dyslexia (that I had only 2 years before discovered I had) which if you have it you can relate how hard it can be and at home as my house was getting increasing too crowed and crazy. I think at this point was when music really helped me get through the day and why I think I rely on it so much to this day. It was my way of escaping and being in my own little safe world I could control and no one else could tell me my answer is wrong, there is not enough room or that it will leave me. My favorite person is of course Pete Wentz although I love the whole band. Of course Pete was the most out there in the public eye but as he grew up he started to become a little more reserved. Plus Pete is half black & Hawaiian no wonder I like him so much. 😉 Well he can sport a mean ‘fro too so that’s cool. Wish he would sport it more often.

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Fall Out Boy of course changed a lot during their career from these pop-punk “emo” (so not) stunners from 2003-2007 and then 2008 went through this weird period and the hiatus that followed between 2009-2012 then from 2013-2015 they came back as what is now the more mature, growin up Fall Out Boy who now just make good music without a lot of labels. Also Patrick, Pete and Joe all have kids and girlfriends/wives. I also feel that I grew with them going from the 14 year old who need something to escape to and then in high school discovering other bands and dealing with hard ache, school and my ever changing best friend and her hard ache plus family stuff. Then I kind of went on my own little hiatus and found myself and who I think I always was when I was in AmeriCorps. Then I came home and grew up and matured a lot.

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Pete And Meagan Take Bronx To The Sherma Oaks Castle Park

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Pete Wentz, wearing a 'Wild Ones' cap, takes his adorable son Bronx Mowgli shopping at the Tough Cookies children's boutique in Studio City

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In 2013 during their Save Rock & Roll tour I got tickets to their Fairfax show at GMU (course they were shitty all the way at the top of the stadium but I didn’t care) and finally got to see them live. They were touring with Panic and Twenty One Pilots and unfortunately I missed their performance but got to see Panic and FOB’s which was a dream come true even if I couldn’t see them that well.

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Anyway enough about my story here is the reason I am writing this post (besides the fact that I just love this band,) because this year will mark the first time I herd Fall Out Boy and started listing to them 10 years ago. I was in my basement and I had an old walkman (yes that shows you how old school I was in 2005) that I was able to listen to the radio on and I had it on DC 101 the DC rock station and their big song Sugar We’re Going Down was on and I took interest and as their fame got bigger and then Dance, Dance came out and their video for it I was sold. Basically they changed my life. So hears to another 10 years and beyond Fall Out Boy cause I’ll still be listening!

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I leave you with my favorite songs, interviews, live shows, awards & documentaries. Enjoy!

FOB Docs:

FOB Interviews:

http://www.halfofus.com/video/pete-wentz/

Live At Patriot Center GMU Fairfax, VA Sept. 2013 Save Rock & Roll Tour ft. Panic! & Twenty One Pilots (First FOB concert)

Monument Tour ft. Paramore Summer 2014:

Boys of Zummer Tour ft. Wiz & Hoodie Allen Summer 2015:

Awards:

Favorite Songs:

Dead on Arrival:

Saturday:

Grand Theft Autumn/Where is Your Boy Tonight:

Dance, Dance:

Sugar We’re Going Down:

A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More “Touch Me”:

This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race:

Thnks fr th Mmrs:

Takeover, The Breaks Over:

Thriller:

Hum Hallelujah:

The Carpal Tunnel of Love:

I’m Like A Lawyer:

Alpha Dog:

What A Catch:

Patrick Solo (This City, Allie):

Pete & Black Cards:

The Young Blood Chronicles:

PAX AM Days:

Centuries:

Kids Aren’t All Right:

American Beauty/American Psycho:

Irresistible:

Uma Thurman:

4th of July:

Novocane:

Steve Aoki ft Fall Out Boy- Back to Earth:

Fall Out Boy ft. Lupe Fiasco-Only The Bulls:

Till next time be inspired Young Bloods!🎶

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