It was only a matter of time before my attempt at sharing my thoughts on a concert through blogging was met with a show that left me speechless. That day has now come in the form of June 25th 2014 in Toronto and I now sit here having to rack my brain to find the right words (if they exist) to reflect the grandiosity and magnificence of this particular performance. The Monumentour brought to us by co-headliners Paramore and Fall Out Boy has easily made its way to the top of my concert experience list, dethroning bands like Imagine Dragons and Mumford and Sons. From the get-go you can imagine why this alliance had pop punk fans shaking with excitement. Here we have two veteran bands from the ultimate punk/emo record label Fueled by Ramen catering to almost identical fan bases and coming together to satisfy fans who have been demanding this union for what seems like forever. Having made their mark and accumulated a loyal and dedicated following, the turnout for this tour was never a worry and I can vouch for that when I tell you the fans played a huge role in the success of this concert. After over a decade of doing what they do best, a band split up for Paramore and a hiatus for Fall Out Foy, this show was somewhat of a coming of age story for both these bands and they made sure to remind us they were back with a vengeance.
Let’s now take a second to think about the daunting task given to the band that had to entertain and hype up a crowd that came to see such an epic lineup. In this case, that band was New Politics and they were unexpectedly up to the task. I’d already seen them live when they opened for 30 Second to Mars but the scale of that show came nowhere near the Monumentour. That being said, they clearly took a lot away from their past touring experience because they surely held their own and succeeded in getting the crowd amped up and excited for the main acts. With some good tunes and some great crowd surfing, they got through their upbeat and rocking setlist smoothly and successfully.
Following New Politics’ exit and the quick setup for the next band, an energetic and spunky Hayley Williams took to the stage and Paramore hit things off with their single “Still Into You”. Known for her electric and vivid hair colors, undying energy and powerhouse vocals, Williams along with remaining members Jeremy Davis and Taylor York gave us an explosive performance featuring old favourites like “Misery Business” and “Let the Flames Begin” along with new content form their most recent self-titled album. One thing Paramore has been adamant about since day one is how much they value interaction with their fans. This is reflected in all of their shows when they have a fan come on stage and sing the bridge to Misery Business. This moment was one of the highlights of their set when the lucky girl who got handed the golden mic made sure to make the most of her 5 minutes of fame by giving Hayley Williams a run for her money. Their fourteen-song setlist came to a close with my personal favourite from the newest album “Ain’t It Fun”, a groovy, gospel influenced, sing along song.
After trying to catch my breath from all the jumping around and singing along to Paramore’s set, all I could think about was the moment when the lights would dim and our well-awaited Fall Out Boys would rise from the stage. The second the crowd heard “Put on your war paint”, opening lyrics to their hit song “Phoenix”, a deafening choir of screams sprung from the crowd and the show was on its way. Legends Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley, known as the one and only Fall Out Boy, did what no one can do better and delivered witty, funny and unforgettable lyrics wrapped up in great rock and roll dance beats. Having written some of the most memorable songs of the 2000s, Fall Out Boy provided and well-engineered setlist balancing nostalgically thrilling tunes like “Dance Dance”, “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” and “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and excitingly fresh songs from their fifth studio album Save Rock and Roll making it a whirlwind of a concert. The only slightly disappointing thing I can think of is the absence of a collaboration from both bands singing a song together, how crazy would that be right?
Despite my feeble attempt at explaining the unexplainable, I can conclude by saying this epic team-up has really been a force to be reckoned with and the bar has been set higher than ever for any other bands I plan to go see perform live in the future.
Make sure to check out all these bands and get your hands on any tickets left for the Monumentour. You will not regret it, that’s a promise.