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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

‘Sugar, We’re Goin Down’ to the Fall Out Boy concert at Bridgestone Arena

Fall Out Boy took the audience through a musical time machine to the punk phases and teen heartbreaks of the early 2000s.
Miguel Beristain
Patrick Stump performs at Bridgestone Arena, as photographed on March 31, 2024 (Hustler Multimedia/Miguel Beristain)

There are so many activities one can do on Easter — like hunting for eggs, painting eggs, going to church or in my case, going to a Fall Out Boy concert. I may have never had an emo phase or been a punk rocker, but even I know Fall Out Boy’s songs and their impact on alternative music. The band has been dominating the charts since 2003 with their debut album “Take This to Your Grave,” giving us multiple chart-topping songs, with Rolling Stones placing the album as the fifth greatest pop-punk album ever.

Before we could get to their riffs and scream-worthy lyrics, the crowd had three openers to look forward to at Bridgestone Arena. Up-and-coming artist CARR started off the night with an alternative emo-style performance that was reminiscent of the early 2000s. CARR has been releasing music since 2021 and their first album, “The CARR Show,” was released in October 2023. Along with the emo feels, CARR also brought humor. For the song “Loser,” the audience was asked for an ex’s name to dedicate the song to (Marshall was chosen). CARR may have only played for 30 minutes, but they gave a vibe reminiscent of pop-punk that could have been in the soundtrack to any teen movie. 

Emo music can have a lot of variety, one of which is scream vocals that Hot Mulligan provided. The second opener of the night, led by singer Nathan “Tades” Sanville, expressed that their sound is screaming and rage. Sanville told the audience to not expect pretty vocals but more loud head-banging emo music. Hot Mulligan has been together since 2014 and has interesting song titles like “John ‘The Rock’ Cena, Can You Smell What the Undertaker” which was part of the setlist. The opening song was “Drink Milk and Run,” which set the tone for the screamo storm that was about to erupt. Hot Mulligan gave unfiltered intensity that was filled with raw emotion and painful emo songs. As an opener, they prepped the audience’s ears for a night filled with head-banging and anguished vocals. 

The last opener was one that most people knew well, with the crowd getting to their feet to welcome Jimmy Eat World to the stage. If the name sounds familiar, it may be because they have been releasing music since 1993. The band has 10 studio albums in their discography with songs like “The Middle” being a fan favorite. Their music has resonated with fans worldwide for decades, and it was evident from the audience’s cheers that people were there for Jimmy Eat World just as much as Fall Out Boy. Jim Adkins is the lead singer and took time to address and thank the crowd for their adoration. 

“Thank you for supporting us all this time,” Adkins said. “This is a huge deal for us to play music for you. This next song is about finding yourself in rock ‘n’ roll, it’s called ‘Something Loud.’ ” 

The set list featured “Something Loud,” “Hear You Me” and “Bleed American” with the crowd singing along for the entire set. Jimmy Eat World has maintained the sound that made fans fall in love with them in the ‘90s, the 2000s and now. They don’t seem to be stopping any time soon, and I hope they never do. 

I thought I was prepared for the craziness that would ensue when Fall Out Boy took the stage, but the minute the fireworks and fire lit up Bridgestone Arena, I knew I wasn’t even half ready. Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Andy Hurley and Joe Trohman walked on stage as the red curtain drew back. The night started with fireworks going off behind the band and fire unleashing from Wentz’s bass guitar, but the most electric part of the night was their third song “Sugar, We’re Goin Down.” Hearing that song live has almost ruined hearing the studio version because nothing can do that song justice like screaming it with thousands of people. “Sugar” has been on my playlist since elementary school, and I’ve never loved it more than I did Sunday night. 

Even with songs that threw me back in time, there was plenty of space in the set for festivities. It was Easter, and it was Fall Out Boy, so of course there was a man in a bunny suit who came out and threw carrots at the audience. 

“I know the bunny’s only supposed to be out for one song, but it’s your big f——  day buddy,” Wentz said. “I think you could stay out for another one, you know what I mean? Bring the f——  bunny back.” 

The audience was lucky enough to have the bunny for two songs and watch his interesting dance moves. And if this wasn’t enough, there was a Western scene behind the band with a cactus and a snail to add to the weird aesthetic. But that wasn’t the only unique setup, because a ceiling piece lowered down to hover just above the band. While the guys stood under the new lowered ceiling, fire shot out from the top and they played a few songs including “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race.” 

After those few songs, the ceiling piece went back to normal and the band reset another scene. This included an inflatable dog head which Stump and Wentz interacted with at various points. They even had the dog’s mouth move to appear like it was singing along. 

“The world kinda sucks a lot of the time, you are given this device to scroll through your life, and not really pay attention,” Wentz said. “I think to me the antidote to feeling that way is to make the world a weirder place. So whatever you make, TikTok, bracelets, painting, videos, whatever it is, make the world a weirder place.” 

The concert also had more normal moments, including when a piano and acoustic guitar were brought out, both of which Stump played. The rest of the band exited the stage and Stump sat on a stool with his guitar to introduce the next song. 

“I’m from Chicago, I didn’t know anything about country music,” Stump said. “There was this songwriter that I loved growing up, and I had no idea that apparently, he wrote a country song I was singing my whole life.” 

He then began to play “You Never Even Called Me by My Name” by Steve Goodman, with Stump dedicating his rendition to his dad. Shortly after finishing the cover, Stump took to the piano to do a medley of “Golden” and Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” where the rest of Fall Out Boy joined him to finish the song. 

There were many more highlights, with Wentz ending up at the other side of the arena standing on a tall platform to then walk through the crowd. There was a magic 8 ball that appeared on a screen over the stage that picked “Jet Pack Blues” to be the next song. The band even played “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” which brought back the pyrotechnics and fiery bass guitar. Fall Out Boy did not have one boring song, set piece or moment the entire night, and it felt like they upped the ante each second of the show.

From their debut album to their chart-topping hits, Fall Out Boy has continually redefined the boundaries of rock music, blending heavy riffs with heartfelt lyricism. Their newest album, “So Much (For) Stardust,” which was released just over a year ago solidified their ability to maintain and restructure their sound to age with them and their audience. Their stage presence was nothing short of spectacular with the band embracing their eccentricity in their lyrics and set pieces. They have redefined what it means to be weird in the music industry, inspiring generations of fans to embrace their uniqueness. So maybe it was weird of me to go to a Fall Out Boy concert on Easter, but I think the world needs even more weirdness to keep things interesting.

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About the Contributors
Chloe Pryor
Chloe Pryor, Staff Writer and Photographer
Chloe Pryor (‘26) is from Fort Smith, Ark., and is double majoring in psychology and communications studies. When not writing for The Hustler, you can fund her reading, drawing or running late for class. You can reach her at [email protected].
Miguel Beristain
Miguel Beristain, Senior Staff Photographer
Miguel Beristain (’24) is a philosophy and cellular and molecular biology double major in the College of Arts and Science from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. When not shooting for The Hustler, he can usually be found playing Magic the Gathering, exploring new restaurants or practicing guitar. He can be reached at .
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