Fall Out Boy – Leeds Cockpit

By paul

The internet is the best, and worst, thing in the world. Fallout Boy will tell you this as fact. They’re perhaps one of THE most talked about bands on the web and it’s this that has led to a sold out UK tour – a tour which could have sold out venues at least twice as big, every night. There are people queuing to get into the Cockpit at least two hours before the gig starts and another two dozen people milling about the bus at the back of the venue. The fans are ravenous. Particularly so when, while I’m interviewing them on the bus, kids start to bang on the windows to get their attention. It’s maybe all in a day’s work, but FOB are still pretty humble and gracious for the adoration they are receiving – even though they only arrived in the UK earlier that morning.

As the doors open at a ridiculously early 7pm, MY AWESOME COMPILATION hit the stage. I’ve seen these guys develop over the last three years and become a really, really good band and if there’s anything that makes Punktastic worthwhile, it’s seeing bands like MAC play tours like this. The Cockpit is pretty full by the time they finish and people are singing and dancing along to their seven song set. A few old favourites go down a treat, with ‘As Always’ and ‘Wish You well’ (dedicated to someone called Paul Savage…who’s that then?!) sounding as good as ever. Three new songs are aired too, with ‘Actions’ coming across like old school Get Up Kids. the new tracks are more driving and anthemic than the older material – in the bands own words they want to lose the American sound and on the basis of the three newies tonight, they may well be on to a winner. The band look the part on a bigger stage, although their between-song banter seemed a little forced – I think we can chalk that up to nerves. The sound got better as the evening wore on – the vocals and guitar sounded a bit low but progressively improved, meaning MAC deserved the adoration they received. I’ve seen them better, but a solid first night’s performance. (8)

I love SPITALFIELD‘s album a lot; it was one of my favourites from 2003 (i think) and has more three-way harmonies than a Fallout Boy record. Sadly, in a live setting the Chicago band cannot recreate them at all. Whilst the vocalist has a strong voice, his two backing singers don’t and so the effect on CD cannot be re-told in a live arena. ‘I loved the way she said LA’ and ‘Kill The Drama’ are amazing songs, but I was left a little disappointed. I had really high hope because on CD Spitalfield are amazing, but live it just wasn’t as good. Still, a worthy support but not quite as good as I’d hoped… (7)

FALLOUT BOY are more of a cult than a band, as 800 screaming fans testifies. They sing along to every word of every song, it’s amazing. Of course FOB are possibly the best band in their genre and that always helps – the songs are anthemic and the lyrics have a dry wit that makes them stand out. Even without bassist Pete the band are energetic and manage to pull off a rousing performance from start to finish. They cannot pull off the harmonies of course, but Patrick does have a great voice – far better than I thought. ‘Dead On Arrival’, ‘Grand Theft Autumn’ and ‘Chicago Is So Two Years Ago’ are all blasted out and the fans sing every word back. The sea of crowdsurfers (actually, it was the same 5 people including a rather annoying batman…) lap it up and the band seem genuinely surprised at the racous reception they are given. FOB won’t change the world and their style of music isn’t groundbreaking, but they are so much fun and put on a great show. I love gigs where I can stand and sing along and have fun – and FOB are perhaps the best exponents I’ve seen in a long time. (9)