Fall Out Boy brought their WINTOUR Is Coming tour to the Oncenter in Syracuse, NY last weekend for what promised to be an incredible night for all in attendance. The sold out show came amongst a string of sell outs for the group including Madison Square Garden two days prior. Fall Out Boy brought along two very different groups to support them on this tour, as they usually do, which always makes their shows unique. Awolnation and PVRIS are two up and coming groups that have been making a splash recently which made them the perfect choices to warm up the crowd for this tour
First up was Rise Record’s PVRIS. The Massachusetts natives have grown exponentially since their signing last in late 2014 because of an incredible series of tours in 2015. The group ended 2014 opening for Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens on the first leg of their co-headliner, and kicked off 2015 by opening for All Time Low on their smaller arena tour. Their hard work paid off for Warped Tour 2015. Originally the group was slated to be on the mid-level Journey’s stages, but got bumped up to mainstage early on in the tour. The group was rewarded once again for their efforts when they were permanently listed to the mainstage, playing in front of massive crowds every single day. They did not slow down for the fall; the group opened for recent Columbia Records signee, Bring Me the Horizon on their U.S. tour which was arguably their biggest U.S. headliner to date. PVRIS is now on their biggest tour yet, opening for Fall Out Boy, a much deserved gig after the work they’ve put in and the fan base they’ve created over the last year or so.
They kicked off their set with “White Noise,” the title track from their first full length on Rise Records in 2014. The song is a great opening track for the group because it showcases frontwoman Lynn Gunn’s powerful vocals and the group’s charismatic stage presence. Next they carried into “St. Patrick” the single from the record and one of the group’s most popular songs. The song showcases the more feisty, distinct sound that sets PVRIS apart from so many other groups, especially from other groups within the scope of Warped Tour. The group relaxed a bit with “Smoke” the first song off of White Noise and gave the crowd a chance to clap along and get involved with the set. A high point of the set came with one of the more popular songs streamed online recently for PVRIS, “Fire”. The song emphasizes everything that has made PVRIS popular with fans, industry, and media outlets alike. The group’s lyrics and vocals are passionate and powerful with every song, but this song exceeds the already extraordinary level of fierceness the group brings to the stage.
Next, fans were treated to a new song called “You and I” off the group’s upcoming release, the deluxe edition of White Noise slated to come out on Rise Records on April 22 of this year. It was clear from the crowd reaction that they were quite familiar with the song as they joined Gunn in singing along word for word. PVRIS closed out their set with the most popular song, “My House.” This track was yet another that was released early off of their record and resonated strongly with fans from the start, a fact that was evident on this tour. As expected, PVRIS ended their time on stage on a very strong note and surely acquired many new fans. All throughout their set attendees could be seen thoroughly enjoying, dancing along if they did not know the words and singing along emphatically when they did. Huge things are coming for the young group and rightfully so with the way they carry themselves on the stage and with how strongly they foster emotional connections through their music.
Awolnation was up next with a very different sound from the first group but with an entertaining set nonetheless. The group has been with Red Bull Records since their creation in 2009 after founder and frontman Aaron Bruno partnered up with the label on his solo music. They kicked off their set with “Soul Wars” from the group’s 2011 release, Megalithic Symphony. The album did extremely well both commercially and critically, earning Gold certification. Awolnation did a great job of getting fans dancing around to every song, including “Soul Wars.” Next up was “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf),” the first single off the group’s second full length record, Run. “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” was a great song to place early in the set as it is among one of the strongest songs the group as released. It placed number one on the U.S. Alt. Rock Chart and was well known by many in the audience. From the crowd’s reaction, particularly those in the standing room area by the stage, the song’s placement on the chart was rightfully earned. Next up was yet another one of the group’s more popular songs, “Not Your Fault.” The single from Megalithic Symphony was certified gold in 2011, a strong follow up from the album’s first single and most noteworthy song.
The group then took the time to introduce fans to some songs that had not reached nearly as many fans. “Window” was up next off their most recent full length record, Run. The song was not a single, but was very well received by avid fans of Awolnation. The song seemed to be very enjoyed by the crowd which likely had a lot to do with the stage presence of Awolnation. The group’s electronic rock is a distinct genre that many in the crowd might not listen to on a regular basis, but live the Awolnation is able to captivate an audience despite their their sound being a departure from the other performers on the tour package. Another noteworthy song from the group’s set was “Woman Woman,” their most recent single, which featured a skillful guitar solo. They also played “I Am,” the previous single on their record which placed top 25 on the Alt. Rock chart. The group closed out their set with their most popular song, “Sail.” As expected it resonated very strongly with the crowd with most people singing along. The song was certified RIAA Platinum 6 times over which truly showed when the crowd was singing along emphatically from start to finish. It was the perfect way for Awolnation to close out their time on stage, and a great lead into Fall Out Boy’s set.
Fall Out Boy was up next, and the crowd could not have been more excited when the lights dimmed and their entrance began. A winter scene was set on the stage with production beyond expectation. Bubbles fell from the ceiling and the standing room pit erupted in cheers of delight as Fall Out Boy took the stage. They kicked off their set with “Irresistible,” one of the most popular songs for the group on social media music streaming and a single in the UK. The song features singer Demi Lovato and was a wonderful start to a strong set. Fans were passionately singing along immediately upon the song’s start and did not let up once during the set. It was evident from their reaction that the song has quickly become a fan favorite, rivaling some of their most noteworthy songs, which is why it was a great song to start the set. Next up was a song that was arguably their most popular song, ever. “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” is a song that resonates strongly with the older demographic of Fall Out Boy fans as it is what drew most of them to love the group so fervently. The lead single from From Under the Cork Tree was certified double platinum by the RIAA and has since become as popular with newer fans as it always has been with the band’s earliest fans. The connection of fans of all ages to this song is what made it such a strong way to start off their 22 song setlist. Everyone in the sold out arena was on their feet and screaming along word for word from the moment the song began which created an energy level in the building that had not yet been reaching that evening. The group took things in a new direction with “The Phoenix,” the second single off of Save Rock and Roll, that album that launched Fall Out Boy’s return to music in 2013. The first three songs in the group’s setlist were fairly representative of the set as a whole. Fans of all ages were treated to performances of their favorite songs from various albums across Fall Out Boy’s discography, dating as far back as the group’s first record, Take This to Your Grave (2003). While more songs were played from American Beauty / American Psycho than any other album, there was something for everyone within the group’s set, with at least two songs being played from each of the group’s six full length releases.
The group performed a great mix of new and old songs throughout the early portion of their set including “Hum Hallelujah”, “Alone Together”, “The Take Over, the Break’s Over” and “The Kid’s Aren’t Alright” all of which kept the crowd engaged and singing along. “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race,” the next song played in their set, was the lead single released off of Infinity on High and the highest charting song for the band up to that point. “Novocain” followed “This Ain’t a Scene…” with a strong rock feel reminiscent of older Fall Out Boys songs, which is why it seemed to strike a chord with the group’s older fans. “Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes” also caught the attention of older fans. It was not a single on the record, but has always stood out among as a fan favorite track. The production hit an all time high with the new song, “Fourth of July” which was astonishing to see. Despite being an indoor, show Fall Out Boy was able to almost simulate fireworks within their production with pyrotechnics and the video screens running behind the stage throughout the entire set. Fans reacted with great surprise to the pyrotechnics initially, and were equally delighted when they continued. Fall Out Boy has always been commended for their outstanding stage presence and ability to command a crowd, but in recent years they’ve elevated their production to match their outstanding abilities as performers. This shift in production has elevated their shows, placing them among some of the greatest performers of this generation.
The group capitalized on this new found energy amongst the crowd moving on to the next part of the perfectly constructed set, songs with a more upbeat, dance feel. Among these songs were “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy Tonight”, “Uma Thurman”, “Dance, Dance” and “American Beauty/American Psycho.” All four songs made the most of the energy in the crowd, which seemed to drive the band to become even more energetic and each member seemed consumed by the music they were playing. Just went the energy in the building had reached an all time high the group slowed things down with a newer song from their most recent release, “Jet Pack Blues.” This slower song gives lead vocalist Patrick Stump a chance to enthrall the crowd with both the group’s lyrically creativity and his own impassioned vocal abilities. From then on in the set the remaining songs were all songs that have become extremely important to fans upon their release and continue to be up through today. “I Don’t Care” was the first among these songs and the only single played from Folie à Deux (2008). The lead single from the record has been a fan favorite since it’s release; upon release it was yet another certified Platinum single for the group. Next up was an equally popular single from Infinity on High, “Thnks fr th Memrs”. Despite initially reaching a less fame than expected on the radios the song never fails to be one of the biggest hits of the night at any Fall Out Boy show garnering support from the audience every time. Fall Out Boy closed out their set with “Centuries” the lead single from their most recent record which garnered a spot within the top 15 songs on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. The crowd went wild for the final song of the regular set but some songs were obviously missing when the group left the stage.
Fans cheered and begged for an encore as two very obvious fan favorites, and staple songs for the group since their releases, had not yet been played. The group returned to the stage in a blaze of glory with “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)”, the single that catapulted Fall Out Boy Back into the music scene after years of hiatus and immediately put them back on the map in 2013. Just as they’d done in their set Fall Out Boy’s encore perfectly combine newer fan favorites with some of their most recognizable songs. They closed out the evening with “Saturday” one of the most popular songs the group has ever released with a moment that brought the show full circle. They’d opened up with a fantastic song from their new record and closed out the evening with a song that has been a staple song for the group for the last 13 years. Everyone in the sold out arena sang along nostalgically word for word as the group serenated the crowd one final time.
All three groups that evening took the stage with great poise and stage presence and seemed to well exceed audience expectations for the evening. While Fall Out Boy are known for being excellent performers the show they put on far exceeded the wildest dreams of most fans. Both PVRIS and Awolnation demonstrated why they were picked to support Fall Out Boy on this massive Wintour, as well as illustrated why they are among some of the best younger groups out there. Be sure to grab tickets to a date near you as many more dates will sell out and this is NOT the tour to miss!
Photos & Review By: Jenn Curtis Photography (https://www.facebook.com/jenncurtisphoto)