It’s not often that a great rock and roll band is supported on tour by … another great rock and roll band, but last night that is what happened.
The Pretty Reckless are a quality act, yet they have spent a number of years supporting the likes of Guns’n’Roses, Evanescence and Fall Out Boy rather than headlining in their own right, save for smaller venues such as The Academy where they headlined three years ago. But last night, on the day of the launch of their second album, Going To Hell, they proved that headlining arenas is within their grasp.
Whilst some of their material was new to fans, having only been released that day (I myself had barely managed to listen to the album in full before the gig), that didn’t matter. The songs and their performance were strong enough to cover a lack of familiarity. And when their better known tracks such as Miss Nothing and Make Me Wanna Die were played, the crowd loved it.
In Taylor Momsen, they have the perfect front woman – fantastic strong voice suited to rock music, a skilled performer with great stage presence (her background in acting clearly an advantage), but more than that a front woman who loves her music and relishes performing live. It’s no surprise that Taylor Momsen is repeatedly referred to as a rock goddess.
Whilst their set was relatively short, to ensure that sufficient time was given over to the headliners, it was enough to show that The Pretty Reckless put on a strong show and have powerful enough material that given headline status, they would no doubt deliver.
Fall Out Boy’s audience was mixed, attracting a crowd who became fans due to their earlier work (pre-hiatus) but also a younger crowd who were perhaps more familiar with their comeback material. It did not matter – all fans were completely satisfied.
From the moment Fall Out Boy stormed the stage in balaclavas, waving a Fall Out Boy flag, they had declared the arena their own and they did not disappoint. Even a power failure could not halt them – the void was filled with Patrick Stump gamely performing the most acoustic of sets, attempting to quieten down the crowd to such a level that he could be heard (it worked for a moment), taking the now obligatory selfies and generally keeping the crowd amused. When the power kicked back in the fans erupted into a frenzy.
Their performance was full of energy and an impressive stage presence (Pete Wentz certainly did not stop moving for the whole show), and whilst their better known (and older) tracks such as Dance, Dance, This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race and I Don’t Care may have stolen the show as a far as their material was concerned, their newer songs could not be overlooked. The whole armoury of rock star live weaponry was also unleashed – lights and lasers; a smaller acoustic stage setting halfway back into the arena was used part way through the show; big screen graphics and video; the raised piano sinking into the stage; … even inflatable balloons! And the crowd loved it.
There was enough of a variety of material performed, that both new and older fans went home happy. Fall Out Boy have earned a reputation for converting non-believers into fans at their gigs, and it is easy to see why.
Fittingly they ended the show with Thnksfrthmmrs, but it should have been the fans singing that to Fall Out Boy.