Over the past 10 to 15 years, there are very few bands that have grown and matured the way Fall Out Boy has. From being “Kings of Pop Punk” to “Gods of Arena Rock”, Fall Out Boy has climbed the mountain of success. I had the privilege to see them at the start of the fall semester, and the angsty teenager in me was not disappointed.
They absolutely killed their show, jamming out to some songs off of their new album “Mania” like “Young and Menace”, and also injecting nostalgia into their die-hard fans by playing classics like “Saturday” and “Sugar, We’re Going Down”. All in all, they played a fantastic set. Their choice of supporting acts, however, had me confused as to what they were attempting to accomplish with this tour.
This time around, Fall Out Boy chose the metal-core band Every Time I Die and rapper Machine Gun Kelly as opening acts. While Every Time I Die’s inclusion in the tour makes sense because both bands are in the same main genre of Rock, MGK’s involvement throughout the tour was completely out of place. I am all for concerts having diversity within their acts, but I don’t think taking two different extremes of genres and putting it together works.
The only rational for his inclusion seems to be that when MGK was coming up, he originally wanted to be a punk artist, but he couldn’t sing, so he stuck to rapping. So yes, his influences in music were probably similar to those of Pete Wentz and Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy. That being said, both his music and core audience are extremely different. This fact became abundantly clear when MGK hit the stage after Every Time I die. The crowd was disinterested at best, and actively ignoring MGK at worst. A majority of people never even looked up from their phones to see if MGK was worth their time. Worst of all, half the stadium wasn’t even present for MGK’s set, opting to tailgate in the stadium parking lot instead.
Overall, the vibe of the audience was very poor during the performance, but I could see that MGK was trying his best to get the audience to feel his music. This was heartbreaking to watch because I imagine nothing is worse than people not vibing with your music. I don’t believe that this was his or Fall Out Boy’s fault. Pete, Patrick, Joe, and Andy are all friends with Kelly, so they were probably trying to help him expand his fan base. Good intentions aside, I don’t think it worked to the extent that they wanted it to.
Despite this, the concert was a great experience for me, but also an eye-opening one. MGK played a great set and his overall energy was astonishing, especially with an unfavorable crowd. As much as Fall Out Boy may have been trying to help MGK grow his fan base to listeners from different genres of music, I think this actually hurt MGK. With the two acts being as far apart in the music realm as they are, MGK’s music style just didn’t vibe well with the fans of Fall Out Boy. I think if they really would like to help MGK out, they should feature him on a new track or bring him on stage to jam out to one of their songs. This would at least show their fans that he can adapt to that music style, and might give MGK more opportunities to expand his fan base.
Live Review By: Bryan Csordos