Teenagers are terrible decision makers. You hang out with shitty people, break the law like it’s your job, and are sometimes generally reckless. Lots of people even regret the small things they did as a teenager. They cringe when they look back on the clothes they wore, the movies they liked, and especially the music they listened to. I’m sure many people regret the pop punk / pop rock / emo phases they went through. I don’t regret shit. I loved Fall Out Boy then and I love ‘em now, suckers. I may not have listened to their two most recent albums, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know all the words to every song off Take This To Your Grave, because I most definitely do.
So obviously when my mom asked me if I wanted to see Fall Out Boy play Merriweather Post Pavilion with her and my dad, there was only one possible answer. Spoiler alert, it was yes. It wasn’t even a “fine” or “sure” or “I guess” it was an emphatic, “YEAH, DUH” because there are few places I’d rather be on a Saturday night than seeing Fall Out Boy with my parents. I mean, sure, I could have hung out with my friends, but do your friends buy you as many Bud Lights as you can drink? Do your friends include Pete Wentz? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
So, as we were en route to the show in my mom’s Lexus (of course my family is bougie, c’mon guys, was that even a question?), I thought I should probably figure out why my parents even wanted to go see Fall Out Boy. They definitely weren’t interested the first (and only other time) I saw them in 2009 for the Believers Never Die Tour Part Deux. Why would they want to go now?
(These are approximations of our conversations because 1. I’m a terrible note taker 2. It felt weird to record my parents 3. They are never going to sue me for libel (or even read this!) so who cares.)
Kaylee: Why are you guys going to see Fall Out Boy?
Mom: We haven’t been to a concert in a while. We really like going to Merriweather.
Kaylee: Mom, these tickets are $70. Don’t tell me you dropped all that money just because you had nothing better to do.
Mom: I like going to concerts! I’m bored and we haven’t been to Merriweather in a while.
I hope I get to a point in my life where I just spend money because I’m bored. That’s the dream, ladies and gentlemen. Luckily, my dad had some actual answers.
Dad: I like Fall Out Boy! I started listening to them back when you were in high school. You were the one who really turned me on to them, actually. They played rock music in an era when I don’t think kids really liked rock music. It wasn’t really on the radio much… Not too many bands make it in rock n roll. I think FOB is a new era rock band.
Mom: It was going to be another summer we didn’t get out to MPP.
Kaylee: Mom, you don’t even know any Fall Out Boy songs.
Mom: Yes I do!!!!
Kaylee: What is your favorite Fall Out Boy song?
Mom: I’ll know it when I hear it.
This is actually a common thing my parents do. They’re pretty sure they like a band, so they’ll just buy tickets to see them in concert and hope that’s the case. One time, when I was in middle school and therefore in love with Maroon 5, they bought tickets to see them, despite the fact they barely knew any of their songs and definitely couldn’t name one, and didn’t even take me. This is still a point of contention because I am a spoiled brat.
Kaylee: Right, so you don’t know any Fall Out Boy songs. Dad, what’s your favorite Fall Out Boy song?
Dad: I like Mr. Sandman.
Kaylee: …That’s not a song…?
Dad: Yes it is! I’m pretty sure that’s what they say it in the song. *starts mumble singing* Mr. Sandman….
Kaylee: Oh. That’s “Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet”
Dad: I like Coffee’s for Closers. I like Centuries. I like Light ‘Em Up (note: The song is actually called My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark)
Kaylee: Fair enough. So are you excited to see Fall Out Boy?
Mom: I’m excited to go to Merriweather.
Mom: I think you’re going a little overboard on the excitement.
Kaylee: Really? I think Dad’s response is totally normal. You’re the weird one who payed $70 dollars to sit outside with a million muddy teenagers and no AC.
So with all the above in mind, we made our way to Merriweather Post Pavilion. My parents have never been early (or even on time!) for anything in their lives, so by the time we got there Wiz Khalifa was already half way through his set. I later found out from my brother (yes, my brother was there too, it was a Dugan family affair) that Hoodie Allen was terrible. So it was good luck that we missed his set. By the time we got under the pavilion, Wiz had actually left the main stage and was playing on a tiny stage at the very back of the pavilion towards the people on the lawn. It was pretty adorable. Artists very rarely even acknowledge the lawn when they play at MPP, so you know, all of the feel good points to Wiz.
This was actually my second time seeing Wiz, as well. The first time was during the Rolling Papers tour in 2011 when I was an employee at MPP, and I remember it being pretty terrible. Now, it’s totally possible I was just in a bad mood because I was at work and MPP shifts are sometimes long as hell and super boring, but either way, Wiz has really improved as a touring artist. I may have only caught the tail end of his set, but when he made it back to the mainstage and started to do his last few songs, I was seriously entertained. There were giant 20 foot long blunt balloons, fireworks, AND confetti. It was a hell of a show. He did an amazing job at keeping the energy up. Even my parents loved his set, and that is most definitely saying something. I was honestly kind of sad when he left the stage.
Kaylee: What did you guys think of Wiz?
Dad: That was great. I really liked the last song he did.
Mom: It was a fun performance. He sure had a lot of energy. It was really nice that he did a couple of songs for the lawn. No one does that.
Kaylee: Yeah, that was much better than the last time I saw him.
Mom: He had a lot of other artists featured on his songs. I kept looking around trying to see where they were…
Kaylee: They weren’t there mom…
Dad: Yeah… It was a recording.
Now, Wiz had surprisingly set the bar pretty high. Could Fall Out Boy possibly be as good?
Yes… and no. Now, before I even agreed to go to the show, I knew it wouldn’t be as good as the first time I saw them. High school was the height of my interest in Fall Out Boy, and Folie a Deux is still my favorite Fall Out Boy album, so there was no way this show was going to top their 2009 concert, at least in my mind. The most I’ve heard of their latest album American Beauty / American Psycho is when they play “Centuries” on ESPN (and I try as hard as I possibly can to never watch ESPN). As far as I’m concerned, I don’t really need anymore than four Fall Out Boy albums in my life, so I never really sought out the new ones.
So, I was a little disappointed when most of the songs they played were from American Beauty and Save Rock and Roll. I mean, I’m not dumb. I get that they are going to play their new music. I’m sure they are very tired of playing most of the songs off of From Under the Cork Tree or Infinity on High, but I’m not done hearing them. Not to mention, I was super disappointed they only played one single song off Folie a Deux (“I Don’t Care”, if you’re interested).
Now that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a fun concert. It was exceedingly fun. I may not be very interested in post-hiatus Fall Out Boy, but their songs are (more than ever) the perfect fit for a venue the size of (or even bigger than) MPP. “Centuries”, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark”, and “Alone Together” are arena hits meant to be screamed by thousands of teenagers. They are 100% more interesting and fun in a live setting than while drinking alone in your bedroom. Which is how I listen to most things nowadays. Of course, my mom pointed out every time she knew a song throughout the entire show (which, I swear to god, was only four, maybe five songs) and my dad kept trying to put his arm around me or do something else silly. Because god forbid they keep to themselves.
The best part of the night, in my mind, was when Patrick, Pete, and Joe (much like Wiz) left the main stage and headed to the back of the pavilion to play a couple of songs for the lawn. I, and almost everyone else near the back of the pavilion, stormed the steps to get closer. They did a handful of acoustic songs and it was goddamned magical. Yeah, I was surrounded by youths and I was really only staring at the back of Patrick’s fedora clad head (why does everyone in this band make terrible hair / accessory decisions?), but it was almost like I hopped in time machine back into 2009. I watched the kids around me text their parents and let them know that they’re safe and they were right. I can’t imagine a safer place for a 14 year-old girl than a Fall Out Boy concert. I couldn’t imagine a safer place for myself. I felt warm and fuzzy and like a little kid. Plus, you know what? An acoustic version of “Immortals” almost sounds like something that could have been on a pre-hiatus album. Someone get me an mp3 of that. I’ll even pay for it.
The show ended with a delightful performance of “Saturday” which was apt considering it was Saturday, and the ‘rents and I fought the crowd to make it back to the car. Of course, it was time to check back on them.
Kaylee: What did you think?
Dad: It was kind of short. I really thought they would play longer.
Mom: Yeah, I was just about to buy another beer when I realized the show was over.
Dad: I wish Wiz would have come out more during Fall Out Boy’s show.
Kaylee: But did you have a good time?
Mom: Oh yeah. I really like that “Uma Thurman” song. There are a lot of different elements to it.
Dad: Yeah, “Centuries” was great.
It was a great time, and barring everyone getting murdered mid-show, I knew it was going to be a great time. I may no longer be Fall Out Boy’s target audience, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them. Because I do. No regrets.