Fall Out Boy closed its M A N I A tour with pyrotechnics, confetti canons, moving platforms and a retrospective of its hits November 18 at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The show was incredibly theatrical. Fall Out Boy very fittingly opened with “The Phoenix” as they rose from below the main stage accompanied by the deafening screams from an audience of fans ranging from middle school aged to adults. Flames shot up from the back of the stage to enhance the excited mayhem.
“Irresistible” and “Hum Hallelujah” followed, but it was “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” that really resonated with fans, who sang along with singer Patrick Stump who donned black jeans, a black jacket and a plain burgundy tee. His casual appearance was a stark contrast to the elaborate staging, but mirrored his comfortable demeanor. The lead singer topped off his outfit with a baseball cap, a recognizable staple of his low-key style.
For “Dance, Dance” and “Thnks fr the Mmrs,” the band played on a platform that rose to the balcony level, giving those fans front-row seats. Stump, along with stylish bassist Pete Wentz, drummer Andy Hurley and guitarist Joe Trohman hovered above fans in a thrilling and surprising stunt.
Although Fall Out Boy’s performance was daring and maybe even a bit dangerous, they didn’t try to become characters they weren’t. Although excited, they weren’t outrageous with their audience interactions or performing style. Wentz sported a patched up denim jacket and ripped black jeans with a doll head hanging from the back pocket in his usual punk rocker style. Trohman looked cool and understated in all black, and Hurley opted out of wearing a shirt to show off his completely tattooed upper body.
When the band finished rocking out above the crowd, they lowered and dismounted the platforms and disappeared into a tunnel under the audience to make their way back to the stage. During the transition, oversized mascots made to look like lamas cracked jokes and shot T-shirts into the crowd.
“I Don’t Care” and “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” filled the 90-minute show, which ended with “Uma Thurman,” “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” and “Saturday.”
Fall Out Boy let the music—and video screens—do the talking. When they played “Immortals,” scenes from Big Hero 6 shot across the screen. A montage of Muhammad Ali and Colin Kaepernick played behind Fall Out Boy during “Centuries.”
“Champions” took a somber turn. The tune paid tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, which was haunting. Projections of her interacting with the public, as well as them mourning her passing, resonated with the lyrics, “I’m a champion of the people who don’t believe in champions.” The performers never commented on the montages during the show.
There was a moment in their performance where the band took a moment to recognize a charity. Wentz said they recognized a charity organization in each city. In Phoenix, that nonprofit was Arizona Ghostbusters, which raises money for different charities and does volunteer appearances.
It’s hard to pinpoint the best song of Fall Out Boy’s set. When they perform, the hardly skew from the recorded tracks on any of their songs. Each note and word was placed exactly as if you were jamming out to the album at home. I was very surprised that they played a whole slew of songs ranging from their debut album to their new album release in January. No album was left out.
Out of the three songs the band played off the new album, “Champions” seemed to have the most audience energy although “Last of the Real Ones” was really wonderfully performed. Fall Out Boy representatives handed out purple paper cut outs for audience members to put over their phone lights during “Young and Menace” which created a cool purple glow in the arena much like the glow on the new album cover.
The theatricality of the show exceeded my expectations. On that note, the band members seemed fatigued, but who wouldn’t after a month-long tour. They focused on playing—and playing well. Wentz took a moment in between songs to thank the technicians who made possible the show’s jaw-dropping dramatic effects. The amazing technical work and consistent musicality helped Fall Out Boy’s final show in the tour go out with a bang.