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July 03, 2007

7.2.07 Fall Out Boy, Anaheim CA

No press pass? No problem! While Billboard does an amazing job of securing tickets and/or press passes for these summer shows, the reality is that we can't always get full press access depending on the venue or show that we're working on a given day, as was the case tonight. Since I've managed to go to concerts with a regular ticket my whole life, I was pretty sure that I could survive going to a free show in the nosebleed seats for one of my favorite bands without a press pass (boo hoo, I know).


On a side note, I think all of us participating in the Billboard/LG Mobile Beat have to ask ourselves, "Is this really happening?" at least once a day. And as I sit here typing, exhausted from a night of harmonizing (if you can even call it that; my soprano ranks up there with the trumpets of the Apocalypse) with thousands of sweaty, entranced Fall Out Boy fans at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California tonight, it's still hard to believe.  An eternal optimist, I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to report on the show as many of us would experience it - as a fan in the cheap seats!


Somehow, I only discovered Fall Out Boy just over a year ago. No, I wasn't living in a cave (three weeks in February notwithstanding) or some poverty-stricken third world country (those same three weeks notwithstanding).  Frankly, I blame this heinous pop culture oversight on a stretch of two years during which I experienced a conspicuous lack of cable TV; I affectionately refer to this period as "the dark days." After millions of fans had already listened to their FOB CDs hundreds of times over, I was just starting to rock out with my cock out to songs from Take This to Your Grave, Evening Out with Your Girlfriend, and From Under the Cork Tree. This year, I bought Infinity on High the day it was released, which finally stopped me from constantly playing catch up with the band. Unlike some, I have no problems admitting that I started liking Fall Out Boy after they "blew up."  Hell, I rocked Cross Colors and a high-top fade well into 2003.

Interestingly, what first got me into Fall Out Boy was USC's a capella group, Reverse Osmosis, performing their rendition of "Sugar, We're Going Down" at an intercollegiate competition. From a love for finger snapping, doo-wopping a capella music, to a love for the occasionally hardcore-esque sounds of early Fall Out Boy - makes sense, right? Anyways, on to the show!


After an intolerably long drive from my job in Beverly Hills (Mapquest, you lying wretch - 52 minutes my ass), my favorite wingwoman Carolyn Chinn and I finally arrived at the Honda Center in Anaheim.  We were ceremoniously greeted by the thumping sounds of the only act of the night that could possibly ever sport a "grill," Paul Wall, and he was preceded by Cobra Starship, best known for their contributions to the "Snakes on a Plane" soundtrack.

Though most of my fellow concertgoers had yet to arrive, Wall managed to spur the present crowd into a head-nodding, rhythmic frenzy when he ordered everyone to "Rob the jewelry and tell 'em make me a grill!"  Not very exciting upon initial consideration, but once you  realize these are the same kids who will later be moshing to Fall Out Boy, you can't help but be amazed at the power of song.  It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, and it compels you to melt your parents' precious metals into a glorified retainer so you can slap it on your front teeth and be "down."

When the lights went up, still two hours before Fall Out Boy was scheduled to perform, it became apparent that the general admission area remained far from full. A text messaging board, which asked concert goers to send messages to a certain number so that their text would show up on the screen, provided some entertainment between the shows.  Anaheim was apparently feeling the love tonight, because nearly every message included some combination of the words "I," "love," and "you."  I tried to get "I'm gassy!" up on the board, but it never showed up, so I didn't even bother trying to slip "I'm Rick James, bitch!" past the wireless gods.


Once I got over my disappointment with the text messaging fiasco, I was able to relax and watch The Academy Is..., a band that I had actually never heard before, but ended up  thoroughly enjoying. They performed eight songs, all of which were so full of energy that anyone would have thought they were headlining the show. With an upcoming tour of their own, TAI seemed right at home throwing mic stands in the air and getting the crowd moving.

One of the highlights of their set was "Slow Down," which got everyone in the enormous Honda Center throwing rhythmic hand gestures each time the chorus rolled around. Next up was "Everything We Had," followed by "We Have a Big Mess on Our Hands," both of which were well received by the crowd. After listening to TAI, despite their generous usage of the "f-bomb" (sometimes I wonder if things like, let's say, a crowd can't just be "awesome," instead of being so great that they're "f__king awesome"), I became a fan.   They sounded so good live that I couldn't imagine how great they would sound on CD.

Ultimately, The Academy Is... punctuated the end of their set with an enthusiastic smashing of guitars and tossing about of drums, much to the OC crowd's delight.  Like I said previously, they definitely didn't seem like they were content to be just another opening act. Overall, TAI put on a great show, and if I were lead singer in a band, I'd invite those guys to destroy their equipment on my stage any day.

When they were finished, TAI went over to Section 212 to mingle with the fans, and I decided to ask one of the girls in line what she thought of their performance and how she would describe the band. She replied, "Hot! Amazing! Absolutely gorgeous! Oh yeah, and sexy!!!"


While I can't say I agreed completely with that statement, I have to admit the performance was hot (welcome back to civilian life, Paris Hilton) and sexy (welcome back to your 15 minutes, Spice Girls). While TAI was stealing hearts and large portions of the audience who were dying to meet them, +44 came on stage to give an energetic performance as well, effectively prepping the fans for Fall Out Boy. You might say that +44, fronted by two former members of pop-punk group Blink 182, definitely brought "it" tonight, if, by "it," you meant a large entourage of manic young women who shrieked for the band as if their eyes were on fire.  They (+44) were high energy the whole time and avoided much of the off-tune screaming that often comes along with playing in front of a crowd as large as the one present tonight.

After +44 left the stage to a chorus of female screams (and we wonder why people want to become rock stars), it was finally time for Fall Out Boy to take the stage. During the intermission, I interviewed a girl named Zoe Secrest, who was attending her first concert in her whole life after driving down from Glendale, California. Decked out in a Fall Out Boy t-shirt, Zoe told me that she started listening to Fall Out Boy around 2003. When I asked her why she liked the group so much, she said, "Pete Wentz, he's just so fun to look at." If she could choose one word to describe the group? "Supertacular." Zoe, truer words have never been spoken, and I hope you had a blast because Fall Out Boy was about to tear it up with a rapid fire set of more songs than I have ever seen a single group perform.

Literally exploding out of the bottom of the stage like a lit fart and accompanied by pyrotechnics, Fall Out Boy blasted into Anaheim with my personal favorite and what I believe to be one of the best "first songs" on any recent album, "Thriller." Immediately, seeing as this was my first FOB show, I was pleasantly surprised at how much Patrick Stump and Pete "Fun to Look At" Wentz actually sounded like the CD when they were performing. Since the majority of my concert experiences involve hip-hop groups, who are known to lose their melodic delivery when they're on stage (it could very well be the 20 person entourage that is somehow all allowed to have their own mics), it was refreshing to see a band that sounded just like I have come to know them via iPod, just with a ton of rhythmic pyrotechnics and great, random, color videos behind them.

Next up was "Grand Theft Autum," which was another solid performance. So far, I was loving the show and the whole crowd had been well warmed up by the strong opening acts. Next up was a medley of Akon's "Don't Matter" and R. Kelly's "Ignition" performed by Patrick.  Despite the fact that this was a Fall Out Boy crowd, these few minutes turned the Honda Center into a huge karaoke bar.  I guess the guy who signed Paul Wall as an opener really did know what he was doing.

After the crowd was all mellowed out from Patrick's mash-up, Pete announced to the crowd, "WE'RE GOIN' DOWN!!!" followed by the familiar drum intro to "Sugar, We're Goin' Down." From where we were in the upper levels, all the way down to the general admission standing room areas, the whole Honda Center was singing along with what has to be one of the catchiest songs of this decade.

Following the group's most karaoke worthy hit, FOB came with the following songs:

· "Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued"

· "Of All The Gin Joints In The World"

· "Hum Hallelujah"

·  "I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me" (after Pete started a mosh pit of varying quality in the middle of the standing room crowd)

· "Tell Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today"

· I'm Like A Lawyer With The Way I'm Always Trying To Get You Off

<Brief intermission for Patrick and Pete to change in boxes on stage, leaving their shadowy selves visible, much to the delight of the females in attendance. I would have been ok with them changing off stage>

· Pete got the wave going in honor of Anaheim's Stanley Cup victory, but he warned the crowd, "Don't f__k the wave up!" before we participated in one of the easiest group dances ever invented. After starting the wave, the group performed "A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More 'Touch Me'"

· "Beat It," (Yes, the Michael Jackson one) called the "best song ever written," by Pete. Their rendition of the song (complete with guitar riffs!) could definitely become a single, a la Alien Ant Farm's "Smooth Criminal"

· "Carpal Tunnel Of Love"

· "Nothing Compares To You" (Yes, the Sinead O'Connor one) performed by Patrick, who played the piano throughout.

· "Golden"

· "This Ain't a Scene, It's An Arms Race"

· "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs"

· "The Takeover, The Break's Over," which was easily one of the best performances of the night, both vocally and in terms of energy.

· "One & Only" from the Timbaland album

· "Dance, Dance" – the band spread out on opposite sides of the arena, with half on stage and the other half standing atop a Honda Civic on the other side of the arena for this song.

· After telling everyone to come down to the general admission standing room area, much to the horror of the event staff, FOB closed the show with "Saturday," while showering the crowd with silver confetti.

Despite the fact that I didn't know much about the opening acts, I could not have been more pleased with the energy that each of the bands' showed and how that translated to a great experience for all the fans in attendance. Fall Out Boy performed over twenty full songs, with very little down time, or "wasted time," which is one of my biggest pet peeves at a concert. The group played past their scheduled closing after starting nearly on time and gave all the fans in attendance a great concert jampacked with nonstop performances.  In the immortal words of a young woman I once met, "Supertacular."


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no way in hell would i see a concert for billboard without a back stage pass, a buss pass, probably a weekend witht he band, chung you are a better man than i.


Nice... the wingwoman got a shout out :) Had an awesome time being the sidekick.

(Insert the enthusiasm of every teenage girl for Pete Wentz) "OMG Dave Chuuunngg!!! AHHHHH!!! He's the best blogger EVERRRRRR"


very awesome man, i wish i could have gone

ramiro avila

you rocked out with your cock out?? and they let you stay in the show?? Awesome.

Antonia Afamasaga

sound like it was fun. i love reading your stuff =)


Ok, I'm pretty jealous. Sounds like an AWESOME time (nosebleed seats or not!). You did a great job blogging on it! Now I have "I'm gassy" stuck in my head, a la Kelis' "I'm bossy!" Hysterical David!

Nati G.

OMG DC you are awesome! hahah I hope you "Danced Danced" your lil asian heart out!!


Any post with "gassy" and "lit fart" in it are okay in my book! Seriously, great write-up--loved the part about Pete and Patrick getting changed. I'm a chick and I could have done without that as well.

I'm seriously jealous that you get to write about concerts!


I want free tickets! I'll be your wingman if you get tickets for Reel Big Fish at the Wiltern!!!


loved your review!! I also volunteer to be wingwoman at any point this summer :)

Big blobby blobz

Sounds like you had a great time and an excellent post. I look forward to your next review!


you make me wish i had been at the concert!!!


nice pics


Wow--all those details--felt like I was there with you. You rock Dave Chung and Pete Wentz is pretty supertacular! =P


I'll be your wingwoman any time, too, Davey Poo. Except there won't be any pseudo-homosexual tension a la Top Gun; it'll just be straight up homosexual tension.


dave chung, you lucky bastard. love the photos! rock out! (without my cock out, since i dont have one)


that blog was almost as entertaining as the show (if i went :) funny stuff and quite Supertacular! go on with ya bad self!


Hey, a free ticket's a free ticket, right? Sounds like it was a great concert!


Dude.. you need to bring me to one of these concerts!


Davey, this was a very detailed post -- I have never heard of Fall Out Boy either somehow, but it looks like a rockin' show. You're an Internet phenomenon.



Very detailed blogging; it makes me want to go real bad! Fall Out Boy is a great band! I wish i could of gone!

becca w

hell ya dc. you're the cats pajamas my dear! keep it going...love to "hear your voice" in those posts lovey


DC! You are the best blogger ever. If I were famous, and I had my own website, I would pay you top dollar to blog; and then I would take credit for your writing! Dude, next time, take me to the Fall Out Boy concert. Seriously. Can't wait till the next post...until then, www.davechung.com it is!


Damn must be nice to go to concert and hang out...Ball'nnnnnnnnnn...


great post!

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