Fall Out Boy, Avalon, January 13, 2007
Pete Wentz wanted the kids to curse along with the chorus. So at Avalon a week ago Saturday, he kept encouraging his adoring audience of Vans-footed teenage girls to chant “Goddamn!” while segueing into “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” from Fall Out Boy’s upcoming Infinity on High (Island). See, as FOB’s heartthrob bassist and emo’s resident bad boy, it was his job to educate his band’s all-ages followers in rock-concert etiquette.
FALL OUT BOY ETIQUETTE: Real rock stars lick their instruments.
Dressed in striped jeans and a fur-lined hoodie, Wentz repeatedly tongued his bass neck, showing them that real rockers lick their instruments. He taught them about circle pits, getting a roadie-type friend to jump onto the floor and start one up. And he informed them this is a safe zone for swearing: rock shows are the one place where your “parents, minister, teacher . . . aren’t watching.” And this was most definitely a roomful of people with teachers.
I was there to be something of a rock-school chaperone. I brought my niece, a Fall Out Boy–obsessed 15-year-old whose dad carted me off to my first rock show years ago, Def Leppard at Great Woods. I felt a weird déjà vu when I realized that both bands have sex-metaphor mega-hits about sucrose (DL’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” to FOB’s “Sugar, We’re Going Down”), but for a young girl looking for cute boys to make her rock, Fall Out Boy were much better instructors than Hysteria-era Def Leppard. While the hair-metal Brits sold concert T’s that turned the word WOMEN into an acronym for “Worship Our Master’s Every Need,” Wentz told the hundreds of girls who would’ve happily worshipped his every need that such devotion really wasn’t cool. Before playing “Thriller,” Wentz dedicated the song to “the girls that come to shows for the right reason: the music.” The right reasons were obscured when his pants accidentally fell down to reveal his bare butt for a few seconds, but after the show, my niece told me she wanted to learn how to play the guitar. Thank you, Pete Wentz’s ass!
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