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Fall Out Boy Triumphs At the CHI Center!

Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming

Friday night (4.5.24) Omaha saw the triumphant return of pop-punk legends Fall Out Boy as they played to a full house at the CHI Center.

It had been many years since Fall Out Boy played Omaha proper, but the draught was ended when Fall Out Boy brought their second leg of the So Much For (Tour) Dust tour to the CHI Center. Veteran pop-rockers Jimmy Eat World provided direct support along with newcomers CARR and Hot Mulligan.

Stories From The Crowd was provided photo coverage for Jimmy Eat World and Fall Out Boy respectively.

I was able to catch Jimmy Eat World at the Outlandia Festival in Bellevue last summer where I personally believed they blew the headliner Modest Mouse out of the water. When they were announced as the opener for the Fall Out Boy tour I was really excited. With a solid set of classics like "A Praise Chorus", "Sweetness", and "Pain" they gave the crowd their money's worth and more. Lead singer Jim Atkins got the room swinging with his infectious smile and slick guitar playing. I noted to the group of photographers I was with that Jim looks like he hasn't aged a day! The dude must have a killer skin care routine.

For a solid hour Jimmy Eat World took us through most of their catalog with a heavy emphasis on their breakout fourth album Bleed American. Fans were singing and dancing along to their favorites for most of the set, but there wasn't a person still sitting when the final song "The Middle" was played. Everyone leapt to their feet and the crowd noise was amplified by ten. I don't think you could pass by a radio without hearing "The Middle" in 2001 to 2002. It's since gone on to be one of the biggest pop rock songs in history and for good reason. The Buddy Holly-esque lyrics and twiddly guitar solos make for an excellent ear worm. With the majority of the crowd in their 30s and 40s we were temporarily transported back to high school and junior high just for a moment. Jimmy Eat World is an essential American rock band. Make sure to catch them the next time they come through!

Finally, it was time for the boys from Chicago to take the stage! I waited with my fellow photographers as they played "We Didn't Start The Fire" and the room was already fired up in anticipation. The curtain pulled back as Patrick and crew took the stage to thunderous applause. The band opened with "Love From The Other Side", the lead single from their latest album So Much (for) Stardust and the crowd went wild. With an elaborate stage setup and bursts of pyro things were off to a fantastic start. The band kicked into "The Phoenix" and the stage filled with flames. Being so close my face was literally burning up from the rising heat! It made for some really interesting shots as the fire puffed up behind the drum kit.

On the last song of our photo session the mega hit "Sugar We're Going Down" bass player Pete Wentz brought out the flame guitar! This thing shot fire nearly ten feet in the air as he blasted funky bass lines. I had seen some photos of it previously and a video of Pete explaining how there's a tank of fuel to create the flames but seeing it up close in-person was insane!

After stowing my camera gear I ran back to my seat in hopes of catching "Chicago Is So Two Years Ago". Unfortunately I wasn't blessed with my all time favorite song, but the boys pulled out a super deep cut, "Moving Pictures", from one of their really early recordings An Evening Out With Your Girlfriend. Before launching into "Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy" Patrick talked about the band's history with Omaha and gave a shout out to Legend Comics & Coffee. He visited the store and was even sporting one of their shirts! Like any band who's been together more than 20 years and made their way to Omaha, Patrick shouted out the Ranch Bowl (R.I.P). But my favorite nugget was when he said Omaha produced The Faint! Heads up, The Faint will be here for Outlandia Festival in August so get those tickets!

For nearly two hours Fall Out Boy took us through a really great mix of old and new, deep cuts and fan favorites. I know I complained about not getting "Chicago" but this really was quite the spectacle. At one point Patrick pulled out a piano and did a medley of songs including "Bishops Knife Trick" which I'm told has never been played live before! So the set was nothing to sneeze at. Towards the end of the night the room went dark and Pete appeared on a little riser hoisted in the air. As he plunked his bass he kicked off one of the band's biggest hits "Dance, Dance". He worked his way through the crowd and back to the stage playing all the while and not missing a note. Between Pete's riser, the fireworks, and flames, Fall Out Boy really pulled out all the stops on this one.

As the night came to a close Fall Out Boy played their classic anthem "Saturday" as confetti blasters shot into the crowd. Towards the end of the song Pete climbed over the rail and sang along with the first couple rows. I've always loved "Saturday" because it has some little scream breakdowns. I wondered if Pete would do the screams after all these years and sure enough he did. What an incredible show! When you think of great American rock bands Fall Out Boy definitely needs to be in the conversation. I'm sad to see this leg of the tour end, but it sounds like Fall Out Boy will be continuing on with another leg this year! Look out for more shows and if you have the chance make sure to see them, you won't regret it.

A huge thanks to Fall Out Boy management and CHI Health Center for photo access!

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