In the last 18 months, Cardiff has had visits from two patron saints of emo – My Chemical Romance in May 2022 and Paramore in April 2023 – and now a third, Fall Out Boy, play the newly renamed Utilita Arena on 4 November. Not sure what to expect or listen to to prepare for Stump, Wentz, and co? Joshua Williams picks five crucial songs to get in the mood…
1. Dance, Dance
Fall Out Boy’s 2003 debut album Take This To Your Grave started getting the band noticed by a wider audience, but 2005’s From Under The Cork Tree cemented their position as Kerrang! mainstays. That was helped by the banger that is Dance, Dance with its now-iconic music video seeing the band playing a high school prom. A platinum smash on both sides of the Atlantic and still played at emo club nights worldwide, it’s safe to say this is a FOB classic, and near-certain to be played in the capital come November.
Not a Michael Jackson cover – that came later for FOB, and isn’t in this list – Thriller is the opening track to the band’s Infinity On High, another platinum-selling album which only increased FOB’s success. Opening with a guest rap from Jay-Z, the song is a dedication to the band’s fans (“Long live the car crash hearts”) and is an absolute banger. Infinity also includes monster hits This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race and Thnks Fr Th Mmrs, both remaining staples in the band’s sets. As for Thriller, we’ll give it a solid ‘maybe’ as to its chances of an airing in Cardiff – but we definitely hope so.
3. Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet
Folie A Deux is a fierce contender for the best Fall Out Boy album – although maligned upon its 2008 release, many now consider it their finest work. The likes of Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes, America’s Suitehearts, and Debbie Harry feature West Coast Smoker sit among FOB’s best cuts, but Headfirst Slide… takes first prize, with its Weekend At Bernie’s-inspired music video featuring Panic! At The Disco. Whilst the band may have gone on apparently permanent hiatus after Folie A Deux, the album still holds a special place in many people’s hearts. As for whether this one will make it into the set? Well, it’s been played out very recently by the group but again, let’s call it an optimistic maybe.
4. My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark
It’s 2013. Fall Out Boy haven’t released anything in almost five years and have disappeared off the face of the planet. Suddenly, they drop My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark out of nowhere, announcing their return in the most FOB way possible, with some ridiculously tiny shows to boot (including one at Camden Underworld, for which it was supposedly easier to get into Oxford University than get a ticket). A few months later, the Save Rock And Roll album dropped, featuring collaborations with Foxes, Courtney Love, and Elton John. At the time of writing, My Songs… has been certified as platinum in the UK, eight times platinum in the US, and is undoubtedly going to be a set staple.
5. Love From The Other Side
It’s fair to say that reaction to Fall Out Boy’s 2018 album Mania was very mixed indeed, and the band went silent again (bar a second greatest hits album) until January this year, when Love From The Other Side dropped after a lot of teasing. Immediately deemed a massive return to form for FOB, album So Much (For) Stardust followed in March: almost a spiritual successor to Folie A Deux, and probably their best record since then too (with no disrespect to Save Rock And Roll or 2015’s American Beauty/American Psycho). Opening with a little piano tinkle before the guitars hit, Love From The Other Side is classic FOB wrapped up in a bow – it’ll almost certainly be played in Cardiff and we can’t bloody wait.
Fall Out Boy, Utilita Arena Cardiff, Sat 4 Nov
Tickets: £80/£59.50 (sold out; VIP packages available). Info: here
words JOSHUA WILLIAMS