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Fall Out Boy @ First Direct Arena, Leeds

Ben Massey | 29/10/23

Pete Wentz had a flamethrower guitar.

I think I could simply end the review there because honestly what more do you need to know? Well… Fortunately for you, it doesn’t end there.

It was the first time I had ever shot an arena show, and who better to take photos of than the Fall Out Boy themselves. The band that I grew up listening to. Dance Dance was the anthem to my childhood, so being able to stand so close to, let alone have the privilege of taking photos of them, was a dream come true for me. I didn’t ever expect to get here, but there I was. In awe.

Emotions aside, let's talk about the really cool stuff: flamethrowers and fireworks. I can’t help but think their whole set was a walking health and safety hazard. But what’s life without a bit of uncertainty and risk? I also don’t know who had the idea of putting a flamethrower on Pete’s guitar but I will forever be grateful for them, it makes a great photo. They even had a massive (I’m talking 10m long) prosthetic dog head on stage at one point. It was a masterpiece of set design.

Not only did I get the chance to see Fall Out Boy, but also nothing,nowhere, an artist who has somehow been to Leeds every single time I’ve been away from Leeds. I’ve followed him since his beginning in 2015, making his beautifully sad music, now transferring into Nu-Metal – It’s definitely a sound that looks good on him. Also, I have to commend him for covering Linkin Park’s One Step Closer, I think it is genuinely the closest I’ll ever come to seeing Linkin Park live.

Second support were PVRIS, a band I was familiar with, but not enough to call myself a fan. Well, I can now say I’m converted. It felt like I was actually watching real rockstars play. Not just a rock band. I have been spinning their record ever since seeing them and you should too.

Fall Out Boy are the pinnacle of rock music, whether you disagree with me or not, you cannot deny the bangers they have. The Phoenix, Thanks fr th Mmrs, Centuries, and the list goes on. Fall Out Boy will always have a special place in my heart. Not only to 12 year old me, but also to 21 year old me, especially after last night.

I can’t thank the band and those working behind the scenes for giving me this opportunity enough. To give the little person, the one with a dream, the chance to be here goes to show what Fall Out Boy stand for. They were once those little people, but definitely not anymore.

If you do anything after reading this article, please check out all of these artists, especially Fall Out Boy, and their new album So Much (For) Stardust a listen.

P.S. Once again, I’m just reminding you that Pete had a guitar flamethrower.


Edited by Roxann Yus

Photos by Ben Massey

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