After pop-punk mega group Fall Out Boy announced they were once again hitting the road for their latestlap of the Earth and its best arenas, fans scrambled for tickets to catch another glimpse of the band that once took up prime real estate on their iTunes playlists.
In support of their eighth studio album, So Much (For) Stardust, the band from a sleepy suburb north of Chicago embarked on a tour that has already taken them across North America and Europe, before heading off to South East Asia and Australia at the end of this year.
Thankfully, one of those stops was at Manchester’s very own AO Arena…
Having sold over nine million albums and counting, the American rock icons know a thing or two about how to sell out an arena, so as we entered the concourse the droves of early-arriving fans sheathed in black merchandise and brightly coloured hair comes as no surprise.
With Sunday pints at the ready, a sudden darkness triggers deafening screams from the congregation of both first-timers and day-oners who’ve waited five long years to sing their favourite emo anthems with the guys who first put them together.
In a blaze of pyro and smoke, the foursome burst onto the stage with the energy of four teenagers after a wholesale crate of Red Bull, lifting the roof off the arena with their iconic, deafening sound. It’s like they haven’t aged a day.
Blatantly ignoring fire safety protocols, bassist Pete Wentz had strapped a flame thrower to the neck of his guitar and was sending plumes of fire into the sky at every possible opportunity.
It doesn’t take long to pull out the big guns — no, not the aforementioned fiery guitar of death, but the hits we’ve come to know and love the band for over nearly two decades.
Riveting performances of ‘Sugar, We’re Going Down’ and ‘Uma Thurman’ set the tempo early on in the show, with the raw harmony of the crowd taking over virtually every chorus they’ve practised in their cars over and over again.
Lighting up their 11th appearance in Manchester, the band continued to dig into the archives of their storied discography, giving fans both in the stands and fans in the mosh pits a mix of the big radio hits and some of the lesser-known tracks which separate the hardcore from everyone else.
The set felt like a miniature Tomorrowland, with winking trees, oversized starfish, talking moons; a giant Doberman and even a mystic eight-ball looming high in the sky which Wentz used to determine which song would be next on the hit list — whether genuinely random or completely scripted, it was cool.
Frontman Patrick Stump then took a moment mid-set to give fans a piano rendition of everyone’s favourite power ballad, ‘Don’t Stop Believin”, which left some fans feeling like they were stuck in some Glee-based alternative reality or the final episode of The Sopranos (if you know, you know).
They even made time for a bit of magic, as Pete disappeared behind a black sheet and reappeared in the middle of the crowd to give floor-dwelling fans a close-up masterclass on bass, much to the delight of everyone in his immediate vicinity and those on his route back to the stage. These boys like pageantry.
Closing out an epic show, the guys go back to their roots with some classic Fall Out Boy, performing band favourite, ‘Saturday’, from their debut album, Take This to Your Grave.
It was an incredible way to end the weekend and, from the fans, a warm welcome back on a cold October evening. If only the clocks had gone back mid-performance, we could have gotten one more hour of Fall Out Boy smashing the AO Arena. Guess you can’t have it all — either way, what a show.
‘Til next time, thanks for the memories. For instance, any excuse to relive the pleasure of seeing them at that very last-minute surprise Band on the Wall gig earlier this year too:
StreamGM’s free underground club night series is coming to Ramona this December
StreamGM’s cult-favourite club nightis returning to the city centre this winter and has found a new home at none other than Ramona.
The much-loved bar, restaurant, live music and events space, which is also now home to the popular Firehouse experience, is opening up its doors to StreamGM and its clubbing series, MainRoom.
Having previously popped up at the likes of YES, Freight Island and the multi-award-winning local streaming platform’s new central hub, The Yard, the underground series of shows is revving up once again and will be coming to the popular nightlife venue this month.
Situated just on the edge of Northern Quarter and Ancoats, the live gig at Ramona will be completely free to the public as well as available to watch via livestream from all over the world.
Teaming up with fast-growing Manc electronic music brand, Do As You Please (DAYP), the label and events promoter are rounding off a prolific 2023 to date by teaming up with the latest instalment of MainRoom to deliver an exciting night of free music and entertainment before the year is out.
Curated by local DJ Mix-Stress and produced by StreamGM co-founder Laura Graham, the dance music series profiles the most exciting artists and promoters across the city, all whilst filming the raves and parties live and direct from the dance floors of the coolest spaces around Greater Manchester. Be it a little-known nightspot, random rooftop or city centre basement, they never disappoint.
The latest line-up — curated by fellow DJ and producer Nial Roche — features some of 0161’s most exciting dance music prospects, including electronic duo Shimrise (Yelena Lashimba and Latoya Reisner), DAYP owner Joe Roche going ‘B2B’ with good friend and ‘Blehrin’ (Jay Murt).
They’ll be kicking off the party and the accompanying livestream from 7pm until 10pm before Ramona resident Alps 2 (Jonjo Williams and Harry Springall) and Not Bad for a Girl’s very own Egg on Toast (Alice Kanako) see us right through to 1am.
The MainRoom x DAYP club night at Ramona takes place on Saturday, 16 December and it’s sure to be a special night; plus, thanks to StreamGM, you’ll be able to watch it live if you can’t be there in person and watch it back at your leisure after its all said and done.
Strictly an 18+ event, you book your spot to see the completely free event HERE or tune into the MainRoom livestream on the StreamGM website.
This latest announcement comes ahead of StreamGM’s inaugural night of musical acts and livestreaming to be held at their new base of operations, The Yard, over in Cheetham Hill.
Peter Hook is hosting a charity gig and Q&A at an iconic Manchester pub to raise money for mental health
Joy Division and New Order co-founder, Peter Hook, is taking part in a charitable evening of live music and conversation right here in Manchester city centre early next year, and it’s being hosted at one of Manchester’s most beloved pubs, the Star and Garter.
Being held at the legendary city centre pub, which now bears the freshly restored mural of his former bandmate and one of the greatest English musicians of all time, Ian Curtis, the significance of the intimate concert being held at such an iconic music venue is not lost on anyone.
Better still, the special one-off gig, Q&A session and evening as a whole has been set up with the help of local music-driven mental health organisation, Headstock, and will be raising money for their partnered nationwide charity, Shout.
Announcing the gig on Monday, 4 December, the veteran vocalist, bass player and singer-songwriter said of the inspirational fundraising gig, which will also pay tribute to Curtis: “I have campaigned for a long time for Ian and Joy Division to be commemorated anyway and anywhere possible.
“From the statue in Macclesfield, still ongoing, and the mural there as well; to the mural in Manchester and the upcoming one in Stockport. I will only rest when every town in Great Britain has something.
“I am immensely proud of Ian and our work as Joy Division and to celebrate it in this way is such a pleasure. I am hoping to bring Ian’s best man at his wedding and childhood friend, Kelvin Briggs to join me so fans can get a real insight into this wonderful man and artist.
“To play at such an iconic venue as the Star and Garter just seals the deal perfectly.”
Speaking on the event, Headstock founder Atheer Al-Salim said, “We are so grateful to Peter Hook and his band who are giving up their time and talent to help us raise much-needed funds to support our charity partner, Shout, and their life-saving text-support service.
“The evening promises to be a poignant moment for Manchester, and an event of huge musical and cultural significance for the city.”
As for Shout, their CEO Victoria Hornby added: “We’re incredibly grateful to Peter Hook and The Light and Headstock for putting on this very special event which will raise vital funds for us to keep the Shout text messaging support service running 24/7.
“Our volunteers take up to 2,000 conversations with children, young people and adults in urgent need of mental health support every day, and every £10 raised funds a conversation that could save a life.”
Tickets will be allocated via a ballot on Skiddle, with the first ballot already open and will close on Friday, 2 February 2024. Each successful ballot entrant will be allocated a maximum of two tickets to the event.
The pricing for ‘An Evening of Music and Conversation with Peter Hook’ on 12 April, 2024 is as follows:
1x ballot entry – £10
3x ballot entries – £15
10x ballot entries – £20
The gig is already selling fast, so secure your spot to see an unforgettable night of music and insight, all for a great cause, HERE.