Gig Review by David Stone with Photography by Jessica Stone

It sold out in less than 30 seconds! A rare intimate acoustic set from American rockers Fall Out Boy drew hundreds of adoring fans to The Hippodrome in Kingston-Upon-Thames on 12th January 2018.

The four-piece from Illinois put together a short but oh-so-sweet setlist for a mini-show put on by Banquet Records to promote the release of the upcoming album M A  N   I    A, due to land in stores next week.

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Arriving at the show, it was clear that Fall Out Boy are a band as sought after now as they were a decade ago. A queue wrapped around the block from the moment the doors were due to open, led by a group of die-hards who had made a bee-line for the venue and camped out after the band’s gig in Brixton the night before.

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Inside, the room was buzzing with excitement. The main dancefloor quickly filled with a swarm of excited fans, with hundreds more lining the stairs, balconies and railings around the outskirts of the hall. The dedicated bunch at the front were about as close to the stage as it gets – close enough to get Pete Wentz to accept a ‘Tesco hat’ from them – a hat fashioned from a supermarket carrier bag that spent a very brief moment atop the bassist’s head before the show got underway.

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Kicking off with new track HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T, the band launched into five songs spanning four albums. The latin-pop-esque track takes on a soulful, jazzy feel without the electric accompaniment, but loses none of its danceable essence.

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That’s a theme that carries throughout the full half-hour. Where some bands take the opportunity to completely reinvent tracks when playing them acoustically, Fall Out Boy faithfully retained the spirit and feel of each song as they adapted them for unplugged presentation.

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Straight from the new, we were swept back to the past as fans completely filled the hall with the first verse of Sugar, We’re Going Down. Patrick Stump took the lead back from the crowd as we reached the pre-chorus, and from there onward the show turned into a sing-along celebration of the band’s top hits.

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Uma Thurman picked up the pace, representing the American Beauty/American Psycho record with all its Munsters-backed glory, followed by a trip back to 2007 with Thnks fr th Mmrs.

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Before wrapping things up, Wentz took a moment to thank their fans for being patient with them whilst they prepared M A  N   I    A to be the album they really wanted to create, and sticking with them over the years as they evolved and adapted their sound.

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With that, they launched into a rendition of Centuries to close the show. A short set as promised, but an incredible opportunity to see a band that are selling out much larger venues in an intimate setting, cranking out some faithful-yet-fresh versions of some of their most well known hits.

Setlist: HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T / 
Sugar, We’re Going Down / 
Uma Thurman / 
Thnks fr th Mmrs
 / Centuries

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