LIVE: Fall Out Boy @ O2 Islington Academy [05/11/2013]

By Chris Marshman

It was back in February that Fall Out Boy announced their return as a band following a lengthy break. In the time that has passed since we’ve had a one off performance at The Underworld in London and a set at Reading Festival, but with an arena tour in early 2014 to look forward to, tonight’s show at the 800 capacity O2 Islington Academy was the perfect, and quite possibly last, chance to catch the band in a more intimate setting.

There is no support and the band are due on stage at 8.30pm. The crowd is a good mix of the band’s younger and older fans and by the time the band come on stage to ‘Save Rock & Roll’ opener, ‘The Phoenix’, the venue is literally jumping. The set overall is pretty heavy on ‘Save Rock & Roll’ which is no bad thing, these songs were made for larger venues and getting the chance to see them performed in a smaller setting only amplifies them. Songs such as ‘Alone Together’ and ‘Death Valley’ sound huge and it’s clear to see the band have worked on their live show with songs both old and new. The ‘classics’ have a new edge to them, ‘This Ain’t A Scene…’ is just ridiculously fun and songs like ‘Sugar We’re Going Down’ and ‘Grand Theft Autumn’ seem to have been given a new lease of life. I don’t know whether they’ve been given a new arrangement or what, but considering the songs are around 10 and 8 years old they still sound extremely current.

The set clocks in at around 19 songs and manages to dip in and out of the bands discography including a nice surprise appearance from ‘From Under The Cork Tree’ fan favourite ‘Sophomore Slump or Comeback of The Year’. By the time the encore rolls around the crowd is still eager for more. The encore kick things off with ‘Save Rock & Roll’ – a song which will be ranked as one of the best Fall Out Boy songs and in a live environment it’s even more impressive. The song is a true mark of how far the band have come and by the time it reaches it’s epic conclusion all those around are left in agreement that it’s by far the moment of the night. The band finish on ‘Saturday’ as expected and it’s as if everybody in the crowd realises that this’ll quite possibly be the last time they’ll see this song live in such a small setting because… well basically, it kicks the fuck off. From start to glorious finish it’s a three minute moshathon and one that leaves everyone absolutely battered. It’s a great end to a great night.

I hope it’s not the last time I see this band in a smaller venue but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the band’s much improved live show comes across in the arena tour next year. Tonight’s show was special and the good news is that it was professionally recorded, so you can expect to see it on Vevo at some point in the near future.