CONCERT REVIEW : FALL OUT BOY – OVO HYDRO GLASGOW 28TH OCTOBER 2023

Tonight marks a highly anticipated moment in music history as emo titans Fall Out Boy return to stage to celebrate two significant milestones at the OVO Hydro in Glasgow. This monumental event recognises the successful journey of the band with their debut album, ‘Take This To Your Grave’, released 20 years ago and the 10-year anniversary of their transformative ‘Save Rock and Roll’ album. Fans are already crowding the venue, eagerly awaiting the celebration of their favourite band’s successful trajectory in the music industry and the influential impact they’ve made within the emo genre.

As the evening descended over Ovo Hydro in Glasgow, American emo rapper Nothing, Nowhere kicked off the event, permeating the atmosphere with his unique fusion of rap, rock, emo, and metal. Although his sound is discernibly heavier than that of Fall Out Boy, he successfully introduced himself to the audience through an impressive rendition of Linkin Park’s ‘One Step Closer’. His command of the stage and raw, emotive energy quickly turned an initially cautious crowd into an ensemble of passionate enthusiasts.

Nonetheless, his setlist harboured a conspicuous absence. Anticipations were high for Mulherin’s song ‘CYAN1DE’, largely due to the significant collaborative contribution from Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz. However, the track was unexpectedly missing from the night’s repertoire. This omission, while surprising, did not deter the overall success of Mulherin’s performance, as he ensured an intriguing and captivating opening for the evening at Ovo Hydro, Glasgow.

PVRIS, with Lynn Gunn at the helm, warmed up the night as the second opening act at the OVO Hydro in Glasgow, ahead of the headlining act, Fall Out Boy. Their dynamic performance, which oscillated between electronica, pop, and heavier pieces reminiscent of their early career, enthralled the audience and set the right atmosphere for the rest of the night. Songs like ‘Pieces of Fire’, ‘My House’, and ‘Mirrors’ from their debut album ‘White Noise’ found a home amongst their fans and new listeners alike.

Even more captivating was the representation from their newest album, ‘Evergreen’. Over half of their setlist was dedicated to this fresh release, showcasing their evolution as a band and the progressive direction of their music. The song ‘Monster’, a single release from ‘Evergreen’, emerged as an undeniable highlight—a defining moment in their performance at the Glasgow OVO Hydro. It was clear that PVRIS, under Lynn Gunn’s leadership, was able to craft a stimulating auditory experience that was a perfect precursor to Fall Out Boy’s appearance.

As the echo of Fall Out Boy’s re-imagined rendition of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” lingers in the Ovo Hydro, Glasgow, Ethan Hawke’s voice fills the venue during the introductory beats of ‘The Pink Seashell’. This enthralling prelude sets the stage for the grand entrance of the band, characterised by soulful guitar riffs and spectacular fireworks, as they seamlessly transition into their performance of ‘Love From the Other Side’. This heart-stirring spectacle is a testament to Fall Out Boy’s unique capacity to blend theatrics and music into an unforgettable live show.

A Fall Out Boy concert is not just a musical event but a comprehensive audio-visual extravaganza, replete with dazzling production elements that amplify their performances. This becomes particularly noticeable as they plunge into ‘The Phoenix’, their flames perfectly timed with the music’s climaxes in a display of pyrotechnic brilliance. Diehard fans perched on the barrier are sure to feel the heat from the mesmerising pyro display and from bassist Pete Wentz’s guitar, which unexpectedly serves as a flamethrower. This fusion of sound, light, and action is characteristic of Fall Out Boy’s vibrant performances that captivate audiences time and again.

In an unparalleled performance at the Ovo Hydro in Glasgow, Fall Out Boy graciously takes their fans on a journey through their musical evolution. The setlist for the evening prominently features tracks from their latest album but maintains a firm grip on their illustrious history, seamlessly integrating fan favourites such as ‘Sugar, We’re Goin Down’, ‘This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race’, and ‘Dance, Dance’. Adding an unexpected twist to the performance, the band pays homage to the rock legends Journey with a captivating cover of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’. The incorporation of their old classics with the new hits strikes a perfect balance, creating a remarkable audible experience that caters to both long-standing and newer fans alike.

The remarkable concert isn’t merely defined by its outstanding setlist but also by its dazzling display of theatrical production. The stage transforms into an underground seascape with a revolving starfish, accompanied by a strikingly realistic Doberman head that seemingly sings along with the band. The appearance of a massive tree adds a touch of whimsy to the scene, amplified by the copious amounts of pyro, smoke, and light effects that create an enchanting atmosphere. Selected tracks, including ‘Thnks fr th Mmrs’, ‘Centuries’, and ‘Saturday’, serve as the grand finale, culminating with a shower of confetti over the exhilarated crowd. After a bumpy road with their 2018 album ‘Mania’, this phenomenal concert at the Ovo Hydro, Glasgow, reasserts the indisputable fact: Fall Out Boy are back and better than ever.

Photographs by James Edmond 

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