There was a poignant moment during Fall Out Boy‘s set where Pete Wentz briefly talked about how many in the media have counted rock music out completely. While it’s shown in the mainstream that electronic music gets the glitz and glamor regarding the atmosphere of the show, it all leads back to one essential thing — music! It was exactly what I was expecting going into the Susquehanna Bank Center. No streamers and no confetti (although there were plenty), just three bands playing their hearts out for their fans. If rock is indeed dead, the Monumentour claims that the demise is rather exaggerated.
I had to arrive to the Susquehanna Bank center very early because I had purchased a meet and greet package for Paramore. The crowd was mixed between younger and older people which I thought was pretty cool. There were a fair amount of people attending the meet and greet. We all knew the standards, however: You get one item signed and a picture with the band. The thing that struck me is the connection that Paramore had with their fans. I’ve met some bands that had that uniform “we’re so happy to see you, but not really” look. Not Paramore. When I went up to the band, proceeding to give everybody a high five, everything was genuine. Hayley Williams joked around with me. (keep in mind, I’ve had one of those Patty Mayonnaise-type crushes on her). You really get the sense that Paramore is a family, a sentiment that would be echoed in the show.
The first band of the night was New Politics. They helped set the tone for an energetic and fun evening to come, performing songs like “Fall Into These Arms” and “Harlem”. Their set even included a four-minute break dance session by lead singer David Boyd. I had only previously heard about this band because of the single “Harlem” but I’m definitely more intrigued by them now. I eventually went home and bought their album. That’s what a good performance will do.
New Politics Set List
1. Give Me Hope
3. Fall Into These Arms
4. Just Like Me
5. Miss Jackson
6. Tonight You’re Perfect
8. Yeah Yeah Yeah
Next up was Paramore. Now I’ve seen this band many times throughout the years, but I’d be hard-pressed to find a time when they sounded tighter and more complete. Paramore has been in the game for ten years and with that, they gave a mature but amazingly zealous performance, tearing through old favorites like “Pressure” and “Born For This”. Even the newer songs of their self titled album like “Still Into You” and the closing number “Ain’t it Fun” had an extra pop to them. Within the show, I wondered who was on the drums as they sounded immaculate. Come to find out, their touring drummer is Aaron Gillespie of The Almost/Underoath fame, and his addition alone gave the band a fuller and more aggressive percussion sound that added energy to the performance.
Now, I’ve seen great female rock vocalists live like Amy Lee from Evanescence and Lzzy Hale from Halestorm, but Hayley Williams is on! I mean, nailing every note almost identical to the studio version. The most important part of the set was when a fan handed her a homemade t-shirt that said “Paramore is a band”. We know of the turbulent past the band had with the exit of the Farro brothers and that the band is all around the lead singer. Paramore is a cohesive collective though, and that point was shown to me at this show more than ever before. Literally, nobody sat down for the entire set. As a band ten years in, they definitely have the ability to stay in the upper echelon of bands in the pop-punk world for many years to come.
Paramore Set List
1. Still Into You
2. That’s What You Get
3. For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic
7. The Only Exception
8. Last Hope
9. Born for This
10. Misery Business
11. Let the Flames Begin
12. Part II
14. Ain’t It Fun
Last and definitely not least was Fall Out Boy. I had previously seen Fall Out Boy once they reunited at the Skate and Surf festival a year ago at Six Flags. It was raining, so they played a shortened set that day. (What a way to get welcomed back, right?) This was a more defined and mature Fall Out Boy as the majority of the set list was from their most recent album, Save Rock and Roll. Before they played hits such as “Dance Dance” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs”, there was a drum battle between lead singer Patrick Stump and drummer Andy Hurley. That reminded me of what classic rock bands used to do as they matched beats from a “99 Problems/Reigning Blood” mash up.
Fall Out Boy Setlist
2.”The Take Over, the Breaks Over”
3. A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More “Touch Me”
4.This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race
7. Death Valley
8. Sugar, We’re Goin Down
9. Miss Missing You
10. Drum Solo (N*ggas In Paris / 99 Problems / Raining Blood, Andy and Patrick dueling)
11. Dance, Dance
12. Young Volcanoes
13. Just One Yesterday
14. Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy
15. We Are the Champions (Queen cover) (Played through first chorus)
16. Save Rock and Roll
17. I Don’t Care
18. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)
19. Thnks fr th Mmrs
There was a common theme amongst Fall Out Boy and Paramore that aspiring fans can learn from. These are bands that overcame crazy adversity to make a statement that they are alive and kicking – a sentiment shared by Pete Wentz as he urged concert-goers to make their own bands. I advise you to go catch a date of the Monumentour. You’ll leave inspired and out of breath from the constant jumping and singing that there is to be had.