July 22, 2015 Fall Out Boy & Wiz Khalifa Take Over Jones Beach, NY 6-24-15 w/ Hoodie Allen
Back in the bitter cold days of January, most of North America was longing for Summer and all the fun it brings. That is why when Fall Out Boy announced their The Boys of Zummer Tour with co-headliner Wiz Khalifa and special guest Hoodie Allen, fans were both warmed up and compelled by the bill. In fact, when searching for the widest concert demographic, nothing makes more sense than to have Wiz Khalifa and Fall Out Boy tour together. With Fall Out Boy more along the lines in the Pop Rock/Pop Punk genre and Wiz Khalifa more Hip Hop, fans of all ages have been gathering at outdoor venues since the tour kicked off June 10th to bask in the diversity. Scheduled to go through August 10th when the tour wraps up in California, the three-headed monster came to Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York on Thursday June 24th to play in front of a packed crowd.
Opening act and rising young rapper Hoodie Allen came out swinging; the performer was quite excited to be playing a hometown show as a Long Island native. Beginning his career back in 2009, after a series of EPs, 2014 brought on his debut record, entitled People Keep Talking. Rising to the top of US R&B and Rap charts, Allen spent 2014 touring across the USA, thus living up to the name of his album title.
Though the crowd was still settling in when Allen began his set, the energy of the audience moved from front to back as his biggest fans were screaming back his lyrics in the front row as he played tracks like “No Interruption” and “No Faith in Brooklyn.” His disbelief and awe of the moment was clear when confessing to the crowd, “What’s up Long Island! I’m so glad to be playing at home for y’all, I grew up watching shows here! So different being on this stage!” He continued to feed off the audience’s support as they cheered him on while he spit his raps and played the single “All About It.” There is no doubt Allen left a lasting impression as he opened the night, and now this Fall, he will take his talents on a world tour.
Between sets, DJ and Hip Hop artist Max Schneider, known as MAX, kept the crowd engaged and promoted his new EP Gibberish. Although he is a lesser-known act on the bill, his evident talent and charisma received some really strong reactions from the patient audience. At one point, he hit a high note and extend it out for a long period of time; making the crowd scream in acceptance. Especially after exposure on a tour like this, it will be interesting to keep an eye on his growing career.
Before Fall Out Boy changed the genre pace of the show, Wiz Khalifa was ready to go. Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Wiz Khalifa has been at the Hip Hop game for over a decade and has released five full-length albums in that time. Hitting number 1 in US Rap charts for three consecutive records, 2014’s Blac Hollywood also hit the top on Billboard 200. With the amphitheater now packed with anxious fans, the party was ready to rise to a new level.
Greeted by cheers, Wiz Khalifa hit the stage with dramatic energy and an R-rated video of topless women and drugs to assert his powerful presence on the stage. Regardless of an audience member’s taste, there was no doubt in his introduction’s thrill and excitement. Opening with his current hit “Ass Drop,” the special effects and light show kicked in and made the crowd feel like they were tripping out, whether they were actually on drugs or not. The Taylor Gang was right at Wiz Khalifa’s side, killing it on the drums, guitar, and DJ booth to amp up the set.
Playing on with all of his biggest hits, Wiz Khalifa even had Fall Out Boy fans up and dancing as he blasted out “Roll Up,” “Black and Yellow,” “We Dem Boyz,” and “Work Hard Play Hard.” Exciting the audience even more, he rapped to his current radio hit “See You Again” featuring Charlie Puth. An additional surprise came when Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz appeared on stage to play bass on “Out All Night.” Ending with the older hit “Young, Wild, and Free” was the perfect way to segue into the next act of the night, even opening the minds of the Punk Rock fans waiting for Fall Out Boy. Now considered one of the biggest names in Hip Hop, Wiz Khalifa will be hitting the international circuit starting in September and is scheduled to release Rolling Papers 2: The Weed Album sometime in 2016.
DJ Drama was the next DJ to warm up the crowd before Fall Out Boy hit the stage, and his fantastic energy did the job for the night. However, Travis McCoy’s appearance certainly helped the anxious crowd as he sang his new single and the classic “Billionaire.” The familiarity of the song raged through the arena as every voice belted the words in anticipation of the next set.
It came as no surprise that Fall Out Boy’s sound and stage presence was much different than the previous acts, but it is what made the night so entertaining. Formed originally in 2001 in the Chicago, Illinois area, Fall Out Boy has been a leader in Pop Rock/Pop Punk essentially ever since. Debuting with Take This to Your Grave in 2003, their 2005 album From Under the Cork Tree launched them into super-stardom, and they have not looked back since. While taking a two year hiatus, Patrick Stump (lead vocals, piano), Joe Trohman (guitar, backing vocals), Pete Wentz (bass, backing vocals), along with Andy Hurley (drums, percussion) reformed in 2013, a more mature bunch as they released the Butch Walker produced album Save Rock and Roll. Re-energized and inspired, they spent 2014 on the road with Paramore, spending their down time writing music, and to the pleasure of fans, released that music in the form of their sixth studio album American Beauty/American Psycho in January of this year. Having been given almost five months to allow the new material to sink in, and a year since Fall Out Boy had played at Jones Beach, fans were more than ready to rock out with a full set spanning their entire discography.
With such a large selection of tunes to choose from, the setlist ranged from old to new, starting with the unforgettable “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and moving into Save Rock and Roll’s “The Phoenix.” Stump’s incredibly ranging vocals and the band’s overall energy was reflected off of the crowd’s obvious thrill of their presences as they played on with new song “Irresistible” and classic, “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More ‘Touch Me’.” Bouncing around the stage from side to side amping up the crowd even more, they made eye contact with many fans, and jammed right into the beautiful “Alone Together” and irresistibly danceable “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race.”
Halfway through the set, they played a short acoustic set of “Immortals” and “Young Volcanoes,” which highlighted their raw skill set even more. Organic and honest, the band sat on stools under the spotlight and had the audience singing along, creating a wonderful warm atmosphere. Moving right along back into the full band set, the large and dramatic staircase setup on the stage gave Hurley a powerful spotlight during his intense drum solo, consisting of today’s biggest Hip-Hop, EDM, and Pop remixes. Returning to basics with mega hit “Dance Dance,” the audience were back on their feet moving around and having nothing less than a blast. Continuing with that fun theme, they played current favorite “Uma Thurman” alongside Wiz Khalifa joining them to bridge the two genres dominating the Boys of Zummer tour.
Having quite the surging end to their set, Fall Out Boy finished off the adrenaline-filled performance with their anthems “Thanks for the Memories,” “I Don’t Care,” and “Centuries.” Showing the crowd was no where near ready to bid farewell, with only the moonlight illuminating the bay in the backdrop, screams came pouring down, begging for more Fall Out Boy. Returning for an encore, they continued with playing their comeback hit “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” and their iconic closing track “Saturday” that had everyone feeling completely satisfied after eighteen songs.
Fall Out Boy once again outdid themselves with impeccable stage presence, delightful song selection, and a personability second to none. To label this band Emo would be a careless oversight, they are simply a group of musicians who know how to craft catchy, powerful Pop Rock tunes a broad range of audiences can enjoy. Though at first, this lineup may have sounded confusing and incorrect, once concert goers see The Boys of Zummer tour live, it will makes perfect, wonderful sense, and turn out to be an incredible night.