LIVE: Fall Out Boy @ Heaven, London

By Kat Ferris

A slightly drab Thursday in Soho was descended upon by 1,500 eyeliner-clad fans, gearing up for an intimate evening with Fall Out Boy, a band who have been scene definers for the last two decades. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone disappointed at the opportunity to experience a world-renowned stadium headlining act at Heaven. Despite the venue size, Fall Out Boy didn’t rest on their laurels, rather they delivered an hour and twenty masterclass on how to expertly thrill an audience.

Kicking off the night with one of their newest tracks, ‘From the Other Side’, the Chicago four piece thunder into life. The latest song has signalled the direction of their newest era, teasing a return to a more classic Fall Out Boy sound, and leaning into characteristics that sparked their careers. Aptly, this song also reflects the trajectory of the night, exhibiting what they do best as a band.

The setlist abruptly traverses the band’s shared history, cherry-picking offerings that span ‘Take This to Your Grave’ to the latest singles. They face a unique predicament, with a discography saturated with enough jewels to hit shuffle on the last twenty years and satisfy all those in attendance, the art of this setlist was appropriately choosing what to sacrifice. Despite being faced with this near-impossible task, Fall Out Boy waste no time in diving head first into their biggest hits early in the show, with no warm-up needed for their definitive emo anthem, ‘Sugar, We’re Going Down’.

As they leap about the humble stage, so do the albums as they dip into the whole back catalogue, showcasing the mega hits that have crowned them deity status within the scene. The real standout moments that will engrain this night in fan’s memories was the dusting off some real 00’s deep cuts in the form of ‘Chicago Is So Two Years Ago’ and ‘Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet’. Each opening chord was greeted by delighted gasps from the crowd on tenterhooks, recovering from the unrelenting whiplash of back-to-back classics.

Between the venue hosting and evangelical song title, it would be remiss to not indulge in a clichéd religious analogy. The biblical chorus of jubilation from devout emo’s during ‘Hum Hallelujah’ is a spectacle to behold. Fall Out Boy’s knack for the perfect hook, translates effortlessly into the live setting, leading their congregation with style.

If their on-stage charisma and instrumental skill weren’t quite so mastered, the fortuitous audience could almost suspend reality and imagine they were attending an underground show for the next big thing out of Chicago. For one night only, the legendary LGBTQ+ nightclub transformed into a time machine, transporting ticketholders back to the 00’s, granting the closest emulation of their fabled early London shows, Pete Wentz so wistfully described from the stage “London was one of the first places that gave a shit about our band outside of Chicago. So let’s take it all the way back”.

The fever pitch generating night draws to a comfortably familiar close, as they drop the dancefloor singalong staple ‘Thnks fr th Mmrs’, internationally cross-over smash-hit ‘Centuries’, followed by Wentz  flexing his hardcore credentials. Donating his career-bearing screams to ‘Saturday’, rounding out the gloriously chaotic show to a gratifying head.

Their trip back across the pond in Autumn will look decidedly different from the exclusive sweaty capsule that was granted to the privileged few. The anticipation for their incoming full-production arena show is untenable, the chemistry of a band only granted to those with the scene-defining status has to be experienced far and wide.