In this new miniseries, Daily Music Writers reminisce on the best live show they’ve seen.
There isn’t much in this world that holds the same significance as seeing your favorite band for the first time. For me, it was something that seemed impossible, but unfortunately, that’s what I unwillingly signed up for when I started to like Fall Out Boy during the band’s hiatus. It was tough to be into a band that I was unable to see live, especially as there were so many people I knew who had already had that privilege.
When their return from hiatus was announced in 2013, and a comeback show was slated to occur in London, I knew that I had to be there. Through some weird quirk of fate, I actually managed to get tickets to the 500-capacity venue, and so, in late February, I caught a six-hour overnight coach to the capital by myself to see Fall Out Boy. It was surreal. I was only 17 at the time, and being in London itself was an exciting situation, let alone the thought of the concert in the evening.
Arriving at the venue, there was no doubt that there was an important event about to take place. Despite turning up a significant amount of time before the doors opened, the queue to get in the door was already several 100 meters long, and those at the front looked like they’d been camped out for a while. The Underworld, the venue chosen for the London one-off show, is a tiny room underneath a pub right by Camden Town station, and it filled up quickly.
There was no supporting act and no confirmed stage time for the band. Anticipation hung heavy in the air. Everyone in the room knew how lucky they were to be there, and everyone in the room was also a ridiculously obsessed Fall Out Boy fan, and I don’t think I’ve felt an atmosphere like it.
When Fall Out Boy finally took to the stage, to “Thriller” no less, the room exploded. The next hour and a half of music flew by in an emotional frenzy; I lost my friend mid-way through despite the size of the venue, and when I found them at the end, it was an emotional moment — we’d actually met online through being fans of the band.
The concert was everything you could have asked for. The size of the venue meant that you couldn’t be more than several meters away from any member of the band, so intimacy wasn’t even a question. The setlist was a Fall Out Boy fan’s dream, songs from every era, including oddities like “Lake Effect Kid” from the Citizens FOB Mixtape. When they finished with new song “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up),” which everyone already knew the words to despite it only being out for a week, the ambiance was incredible. They left the stage to some of the loudest applause the venue had ever heard.
Filtering out through the venue and resurfacing to Camden, now wrapped up in a hoody with “RIP HIATUS” emblazoned on it — a statement that the amount of life in the performance clearly exemplified — I was still awestruck with just how good the concert had been.