Thursday, May 14, 2009

Believers Never Die Review

It's time for Cassie to be a critic.

I write this the day after the show, hoping I can remember as many details as possible from the rain-soaked experience of last night that has been calling itself the Believers Never Die Part Deux tour.

The Arena District of Columbus, Ohio found itself invaded last night by rainclouds and a crowd of kids in brightly-colored hoodies massing together in the quickly flooding Lifestyles Communities Pavilion. Rain or Shine, this was an outdoor event... Rain. Hmph.


The rain, however, was no obstacle for fans who had waited in line all day and those who conglomerated in the downpour when doors opened. In their eyes it was worth a few prune-y fingers to see Hey Monday, Cobra Starship, Metro Station, All Time Low, and Fall Out Boy. But, but was it really?

To begin, I would like to narrow down the bands that opened for Fall Out Boy into a couple categories:

A.) Bands just being bands
-Hey Monday
-All Time Low

B.) !!DANCE PARTY!! / Dance and don't give a FUCK
-Cobra Starship

C.) Cheese... Awkward cheese.
-Metro Station
...
-Fall Out Boy?

Hey Monday
Keeping it real

The first opening band, Hey Monday, about whom I have previously written, falls under category A. No frills or cheesy theatrics that came later in the show, just Hey Monday rocking out and getting the audience stoked. The band was energetic and a great choice for an opener, and I'm sure they procured a lot of new fans last night even within their mini-set of about four songs. We also got an early glimpse of Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz during their first song, when he came out to sing with them and the young girls around me nearly picked me up and threw me to get closer to the stage.

Cobra Starship
"I came here to make you dance tonight; I don't care if I'm a guilty pleasure."

The next band was Cobra Starship, who I will admit, I believe stole the whole show. With their audience interaction, singer Gabe Saporta's between-song ramblings, and their aggressive-energy, this band kept the audience on their toes. I'll admit that I wasn't the hugest Cobra fan before I saw them live, but they wowed me at this show. When the band played, it seemed that it was almost less of a performance, but a fight, which brought an interesting and new vibe. The band's self-awareness and consciousness of the fact that some in the audience had "beef," as Gabe would say, against them seemed to drive the band to impress, and impress they did. I can say I am proud to have "put my fangs up" before "Bring it [Snakes on a Plane]" and to have been named a "cobra for life" by the onstage persona and heavily fan-worshipped Gabriel Saporta.

Metro Station
WTF?! PUT YOUR SHIRT BACK ON, CYRUS-KID!!

What is there to say about Metro Station? Well, I'll start with the fact that Hannah Montana has a brother: a tall, lanky, pale dude who thinks he's tough and over-does it. This creature happens to sing for Metro Station, and many people perceive the band as a "joke" for this reason. After seeing Metro live, I don't blame those people. I must give credit to this band for making me laugh and dance and keeping the audience alive, but seriously-- I think a certain Cyrus is over-compensating. The band walked out, began playing, and I noticed a repetitive action that kept occurring: a certain singer's shirt kept being lifted. I turned to my friend and said, "He's going to take that off by the end of the set." I was, unfortunately, right. It was way awkward. They amused me nonetheless, but -sadly- it may not have been for the right reasons.

All Time Low
Mad teleportation skillz.

The most sincere performance of the night, I believe, came from All Time Low. Now, I -personally- am not into All Time Low and all the other bands that sound just like them, but they impressed me live, which means I will probably start listening to them. There was something very genuine about their performance. I think a lot of that comes with their being my "type A" band - a band just being a band. There was no ostentation (save for a hot pink bass guitar that was just sweet), no awkward theatrics-- shirts stayed on and everything! The band members treated the crowd to an intimacy that the previous bands had not provided when the guitarist jumped into the audience and also when he somehow managed to get to the lawn and stand in front of it. From where I stood in the crowd, I could not see how he got back there so suddenly, or how he got back onstage, so my friends and I concluded that he had teleported. Yea, All Time Low can TELEPORT, TAKE THAT! Also, I believe these dudes had a shirt that insulted The Maine that they were selling at this show, so haters of The Maine-- happy birthday, there's your present- early or belated.

Fall Out Boy
Well, they're better than they used to be...

A bit of background information: the last time I saw Fall Out Boy was at Warped Tour in 2005, and then-- it was a horrific mess. Lead singer Patrick Stump howled and gargled like a half-strangled banshee, making their performance one very unappealing to the ears despite the rest of the band's sounding good. Though Stump still sometimes misses a few notes, I can honestly say that Fall Out Boy has made an IMMENSE improvement since last I saw them.

Musically, these dudes were on point, and it was awesome even though the crowd didn't seem to be feeling the newer tunes (an energy peak was "Grand Theft Autumn"). I think that, with four energetic lively acts leading up to them, FOB -in a way- set themselves up for a dull house. By the time the headliner was performing, most of the audience members were drenched, cold, and tired from all the dancing they had done, not to mention confused by the strange theatrics with which the band opened.

There were, on either side of the stage, asymmetrical screens that projected scenes of rioting before the band came out, and when they did come out, they were accompanied by burly Chicago-riot-squad-costumed men, one of which was in my direct line of sight and stood as still as the grave, looming over the crowd, an eerie menace. The band wore business suit costumes, but the thing that really raised eyebrows was Patrick Stump's strange, white wig and an unsightly laceration on the side of his head. Those, especially, who could not see the screens were frowning, arms-crossed, and confused.
A word about theatrics and Fall Out Boy: if your music doesn't invite theatrics, don't do it. Fall Out Boy's music is good enough and speaks well enough for itself that the theatrics were just a bit cheesy and, for some, confusing.

After a few songs in their strange get-ups, the band left the stage for a "costume change," which also raised some eyebrows, and came back with the political message about large corporations running the world, which- also- seemed a little out of place, but I give them props for speaking out on something.

The show went on with some banter between Pete Wentz and Patrick Stump between songs: songs, banter, songs, banter... Sadly, the crowd - from where I stood- seemed the most calm it had been all night, which was disappointing, because- for me- the environment tends to make the show. If people are standing still, it's not quite as fun. It's that sort of philosophy that many follow, where the band will put back out the energy they are given. Not much giving was going on here.
However, there was ONE dude who was way into it the whole time, and it reminded me that, no matter how much of a let-down a show could be to one person, to the next, to the dedicated fans: it's going to be golden, which is beautiful to me.

It was not all bad, of course. It was fun, and I really got into the songs I loved (even if the crowd surrounding me was still), but where a build-up is supposed to lead to an explosion, at Believers Never Die, it lead to a "Meh. Okay, but--"

One of my favorite parts of the show was when Fall Out Boy ended with "Saturday," so I figure what better way to end this than to close with a video of their last song.

Check it out:
video

XoXo
c.

2 comments:

Sarah Maloy said...

It's unbelievable how different a show can be from different parts of the crowd. Where I was, everyone was more into Fall Out Boy than they had been for any of the openers, (not necessarily as wild as they were during ATL, but definitely more dedicated... if that makes sense.) Everyone was dancing and singing along, there was a mosh pit right behind me (once I passed through it to get closer to the front!) and everyone totally understood the MV&P political, riot stuff. Or maybe I'm just that one person to whom the show was golden...

I left for a while during ATL, but I was standing RIGHT by where Jack popped up at the back of the stage and I was so confused!! Haha, it was totally crazy. I definitely agree with you about them just being a band.

I'm so glad you liked Cobra! Now maybe you understand my obsession. I, just like you, was not the biggest fan until I saw them in concert. Now every time I listen to their music, I imagine Gabriel performing it and it's a million times better. I'm pretty sure that they will steal any show they ever play... Gabe is definitely the best performer I've ever seen. You didn't get to see Ryland, Suarez, or Victoria do much, but when I saw them, they were all really dynamic and interactive, too, so it was awesome! I can't wait for their summer tour. =]

So this was the longest comment ever... All I can say is that I can't wait for Blink, FOB, and Panic in Cinci this August!!

Cassie The Venomous said...

Ha-ha! It is totally insane how crowd-perspective can alter a show. I'm glad you had a great time. I knew you would. :D

XoXo
c.