If the members of Fall Out Boy were placed side-by-side in a police lineup, it’d be virtually impossible to imagine a connection between them — what with Pete Wentz’s glamour boy affectations and drummer Andy Hurley’s death-metal Muppet glaring. But as soon as the first notes of this intimate perf rang out, the bond between the musicians was vividly illuminated.
The foursome has moved well beyond the punk-pop strictures that they held to so tightly early on in their career, largely because of Patrick Stump’s development as a singer. Doughy and palpably reticent, Stump is an unlikely frontman, but his soulful tenor — which can recall Daryl Hall one moment and Martin Fry of ABC the next — added unexpected dimension to this set’s careening versions of “Grand Theft Autumn” and “A Little Less Sixteen Candles (A Little More Touch Me).”
Stump played off guitarist Joe Trohman’s old-school Brit-metal riffs with aplomb on “The Take Over, the Break’s Over” and soared effortlessly on the pulsing “Thriller” (not a Michael Jackson cover). He didn’t, however, address the aud at all, deferring to the more loquacious Wentz, who proffered such bon mots as a Britney Spears-aimed dedication of the celeb-bashing “America’s Suitehearts.”
Given the fact that it was ostensibly an album release show — the Island-issued “Folie a Deux” having hit stores earlier that day — the foursome spent a surprising amount of time mining its back catalog. Beyond “Suitehearts,” the only new offerings were a sweetly harmony-laden ‘I Don’t Care” and a forgettable take on the overly cute “Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown.”
Wentz is growing by leaps and bounds as a writer and a showman; for this perf, he painted his face with a Kiss-like pattern that incorporated the initials of his newborn son. Likewise, Stump continues to spread his wings. If the pair continue to move in tandem, they’re bound to make some beautiful music together; a slight change in direction on the part of either, however, could, as the lyric of one of their hits puts it, see them go down swinging.