‘An emo kid’s dream’ – Fall Out Boy’s insanely intimate gig at Band on the Wall, Manchester

The chance to see them performing in the 500-capacity venue is seriously rare.

Sophey Donohue Sophey Donohue - 16th March 2023

It’s been five long years without new music from pop-punk icons Fall Out Boy – and rather than launching back into our lives with a huge arena show, the American rockers chose one of Manchester’s most intimate venues for their return. 

The Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum group announced a very special intimate performance at Band on the Wall just last week, with tickets selling out in minutes. 

The chance to see them performing in the 500-capacity venue is the stuff of a former emo kid’s wildest dreams.

Fall Out Boy are here to celebrate the release of So Much (For) Stardust, their first album since Mania in 2018. 

They open the show with the first release from the new album, ‘Love from the Other Side’, the room immediately erupting in unified, punk-rock glee. The lads seemingly revel in the crowd belting back the lyrics of the two-week old track.


Then it’s a jump back 10 years with The Phoenix, a track taken from the album Save Rock n Roll, the record that brought them back together from their hiatus.

Despite Patrick Stump being the lead singer, and all individual members having their own long-standing fan bases, Pete Wentz takes the lead with crowd interactions, talking to us between songs and keeping us hyped during. 


But of course, the 90-minute set gives each member their own time to shine. The band’s 19-song set plays out the band’s last two decades and shows just how far the emo veterans have come. 

Three songs in, the four-piece explain they are ‘pretty f**king jetlagged’ and in true Manchester style, a member of the crowd shouts in response: “Do you want a tequila!?” Because if nothing else, us Manc lot know the cure for everything – booze.

Fall Out Boy Band on the Wall tickets Manchester
Fall Out Boy

The floor bounces underneath your feet as 500 fans jump, dance, and mosh in unison, as Wentz extends a salute accompanied by a grin from ear to ear – after years of selling out huge venues, you can only imagine how great an intimate one of this size must feel. 


The band perform with a backdrop of two sides of a smiley face, which they go on to explain represents the two halves of the new album, how it was built, and what it means. The second half of the record is based on the movie Field Of Dreams and the quote ‘If you build it, they will come’, acknowledging their five years of no music. Yet still, their fans are loyal as ever, as demonstrated by the enraptured congregation before them. 

“It’s been a minute,” Pete says, “But we wanted to get it right so thank you for being patient, it’s almost here. 

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“Our band would not be a band at all, we probably wouldn’t be playing together if it weren’t for this city and what happened here for the music scene.” He makes nods to Manchester legends Oasis, The Smiths and Stone Roses and then jokingly says ‘anyway, here’s Wonderwall’. The crowd erupts, because who wouldn’t want to hear a live Fall Out Boy x Oasis mashup?

The end of the show is near but the band aren’t letting us Manchester lot go without us having something to remember as our own. After a quick intro from Pete, ‘Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet’ is played to their fans for the first time since 2009. The atmosphere in the room is unmatched and seriously nostalgic – I can almost feel my arm reaching for the heavy black emo eyeliner buried in my drawer somewhere. 

The band end the show with ‘Centuries’ and ‘Saturday’, where Pete Wentz ends his night of crowd interaction by climbing into the arms of fans as we channel our teenage angsty selves, because even though So Much (For) Stardust isn’t a throwback record, this was undeniably a throwback show. 

Featured image: Publicity picture