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FALL OUT BOY'S 'SO MUCH FOR (TOUR)DUST' ENCHANTS LOS ANGELES AUDIENCE FOR A SECOND NIGHT: PART 2

Kayla Moreno (and 1 other)Aug 1, 2023

“So Much For (Tour)Dust” is quite the spectacle. Fans never know what to expect, with a rotating cast of opening acts and a rotating set of songs immersing audiences across the country in a whimsical world straight out of storybook dreams. This expansive tour covers both arenas and large stadiums, giving each audience a unique experience every night.

The demand for the tour was so high that Los Angeles got two stops, both at BMO Stadium. Night two was held on July 3, 2023 and the crowd was in for an evening of special surprises that wowed everyone from the front row to the nosebleeds.

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Royal And The Serpent opened the show; her music, vibe, and energy encapsulate the early years of scene culture while bringing a modern twist to it. She has several ties to grunge and pop punk, showcasing that connection with covers, as well as her original music. Royal And The Serpent’s drummer, Tosh Peterson, is phenomenal, never missing a beat, getting audiences to dance at just around 6:30PM. It’s not easy being the first to perform in such a prodigious show, but Royal And The Serpent commands the stage, proving that they are ready to play for these enormous stadium crowds already.

Next up, scene pioneers The Academy Is… appeared for a dynamic, yet short set. Their performances are like gold dust; a bit tricky to come by, but those who get to catch them are extraordinarily fortunate. These 00’s heavy-hitters captivated the early emo/pop-punk scene with some help from the evening’s headliners, Fall Out Boy, so having the chance to see them take the same stage nearly 20 years later is incredibly sentimental for everyone involved. Frontman William Beckett is energetic, endearing, and charming, even to those who are unfamiliar with their work. You would have never guessed that the band has taken a near 10-year pause from performing together. They were able to incorporate deep cuts (“Sleeping With Giants”) and greatest hits (“About A Girl” / “Snakes On A Plane”) into their brief slot. Each performer got a moment to shine, which is wonderful to see from an act that doesn’t often hit the stage—though they really should play more shows.

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This four-band bill featured a stacked lineup, with Bring Me The Horizon appearing shortly after the end of The Academy Is…’s set. Also hailed as scene pioneers, Bring Me The Horizon has an amazing presence that is unlike anything I have seen before. Frontman Oli Sykes understands his fanbase to an impressive degree, entering the crowd with ease, opening the pit and joining it, creating an environment that fans would want to be in. As a casual fan, I was able to enjoy and identify some huge hits (“Drown” / “Can You Feel My Heart”) but I mostly stood in awe as Sykes’ diehard fans interacted with everybody. I, too, saw them perform at When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas. However, I think So Much For (Tour)Dust was more comprehensive in terms of what a Bring Me The Horizon set is meant to be like. Sykes is at his prime when he can connect with the people who have been supporting him since day one.

For the main event: Fall Out Boy’s headlining performance was one for the books. This was my tenth time seeing the band, and it was easily my favorite. Fall Out Boy has always been good at theatrics; their past two main tours have taken the form of a play, guiding us along for a few hours to tell a whole story. This time, though, was much different, more intricate, than anything I have seen the band do before. They have taken into account that fans love deep cuts–and the sense of being surprised, generally.

And we were surprised! Fall Out Boy has been playing songs that haven’t seen the light of day for decades on this tour, insinuating that their spirits have been entirely revived, highlighting parts of their discography that are often left untapped. They took a bit of an “Eras” approach, especially for the Take This To Your Grave (which celebrates its 20 year anniversary in 2023) portion of the set. Using a keen creative perspective, Fall Out Boy was able to shrink a giant stadium stage into a small hole-in-the-wall style venue that they used to play at when their debut album was new. I was especially excited to hear “Homesick At Space Camp,” which hadn’t been on their rotation in so long that it felt new once again.

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As a major treat, William Beckett returned to the stage to perform “Sophomore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year,” from From Under The Cork Tree. This rare event hasn’t occurred in well over a decade, when the bands used to tour together. The song was previously included in the “Magic 8 Ball” portion of the show without Beckett to do his part, but it was added to the regular setlist rotation for this night only, since it was the last time The Academy Is… appeared on this tour. It was nothing short of heartwarming seeing these friends reconnect. There is clearly still a lot of love between Fall Out Boy and their friends in The Academy Is… . These connections are pivotal to Fall Out Boy’s history, emphasizing their tremendous amount of influence over generations of fellow artists. And, again, it is evident that Beckett is meant to be a performer, as you could never tell that he had taken such a long pause from performing compared to the headliners, who tour frequently.

Then, the real madness began! As if we were not already feeling spoiled, we got to witness a few live debuts. Patrick Stump performs intimate songs on the piano each night of this tour (lovingly called “piano enrichment time” by fans) for a bit of a “cool down,” transitional moment. He performed “I’ve Got All This Ringing In My Ears, But None On My Fingers,” a deep cut from Infinity On High. Fans sang along effortlessly, showcasing that deep cuts make for memorable evenings for the band and audience alike.

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This crowd got two “Magic 8 Ball” surprise songs, whereas most cities get just one. First was another Infinity On High deep cut, “The After(life) of the Party.” Then, Wentz took to the Magic 8 Ball to ask if he should include an even deeper cut–and he definitely did! The audience audibly gasped as they realized Fall Out Boy was performing “Bang the Doldrums” from Infinity On High for the first time ever.

So Much For (Tour)Dust fulfilled its intended purpose of re-enchanting us all with childlike joy and whimsy. We got to pop bubbles all night, the band got to play with their giant dog puppet, and we screamed until our lungs gave out to the songs that got us through growing up. There were many moments throughout the evening where I could see my inner child standing directly in front of me, jumping giddily with unbridled joy and bewilderment, feeling absolutely lucky to be there. It showed in the band, too; I’m not sure I’ve seen them smile more than they have been with these recent shows. Ending the evening with their traditional closing number “Saturday,” but this time, with Adam Siska from The Academy Is… on bass while Wentz connected with his diehard fans, suggests that Fall Out Boy is thinking about the future while embracing their past. There is something very special about following a legacy band like Fall Out Boy. If they continue along the path they’ve been on since this album cycle began, we’re in for many, many more treats.

Check out part 1 of our 'So Much For (Tour)Dust' coverage here.

Keep up with Royal And The Serpent, The Academy Is, Bring Me The Horizon, and Fall Out Boy.

PHOTOS BY ANASTASIA WHITE