Not many bands can match Fall Out Boy for commercial and critical success over their 20-year career, and that is shown tonight in Cardiff. Main support on this arena tour, Pvris (pronounced ‘Paris’), really bring the room to life: alt-rocky songs such as Dead Weight sound absolutely massive, and the extra bassy Hype Zombies vibrates its way through the room, warming it up for the main event. Lynn Gunn also lets us know that Cardiff is the first place Pvris played outside of the US. So that’s pretty cool too.
Playing your own song over the PA before coming onstage is a ballsy move, but that’s the way Fall Out Boy roll, apparently. Their recent lyrically updated cover of We Didn’t Start The Fire precedes the lights dimming, the sound of Ethan Hawke’s monologue The Pink Seashell – from the band’s latest album So Much (For) Stardust – and, when they appear, an opening double whammy of Love From The Other Side and The Phoenix, with a LOT of indoor fireworks and pyro to boot.
After which, FOB’s massive hits, with Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down the first to appear this evening fairly early in the set. There are so many iconic emo bangers tonight it’s ridiculous, with the likes of Thnks Fr Th Mmrs, My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up), and Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy all going off beautifully – plus Dance, Dance sees bassist/lyricist Pete Wentz appear in the crowd at the sound desk for no apparent reason other than to soak up the love in the room.
Catalogue deep cuts are very gleefully received tonight, too, with the likes of G.I.N.A.S.F.S. getting played apparently in reaction to a sign in the crowd (“at Fall Out Boy, we are in the business of wish fulfilment!” Wentz tells us), and the first airing of Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued since 2008.
It’s probably one of the best setlists Fall Out Boy have devised in years: the right balance of recognisable anthems for the casuals, album cuts for the hardcore fans and a big ol’ arena show. This includes a clock going back in time to 2003, for a section dedicated to the band’s debut album Take This To Your Grave, a massive dog head singing along to This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race, and Wentz dressing as, seemingly, an Ent from Lord Of The Rings for the band’s cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train. It’s absolutely brilliant.
Fall Out Boy + Pvris, Utilita Arena Cardiff, Sat 4 Nov
words JOSHUA WILLIAMS photos JASPER WILKINS