Fall Out Boy – Live At The Metro

It was many years ago. I was visiting some friends in San Francisco and being young and reckless, financially we were always looking for some coin to get us through the party that day. Waking up on the floor of my friend Jesslynn’s apartment the days mission was to collect as many CD’s laying around the house as we could and get them down to AMOEBA, the large retail record chain on Haight. At the time, Jess worked writing album reviews for an online blog, so like most kids back then, always had a bunch of unopened “reviewed” CD’s lying around. They were always good for trading in, as they hadn’t been opened and usually were the industry versions, which were slightly collectable back then as they may of had a few bonus or live tracks tacked onto the commercial set lists. Even with the “Promo Copy, Not For Resale or Redistribution” label on the back it was always easy to move them in the pursuit of beer money. However, the outlet bought them off you at a minimum because of this fact and ironically sold them for premium because of the same fact. That’s business.


As we collected the CD’s lying around the apartment, we realised that the last month of Jess’ “reviewing” had been quite fruitful, with almost a box of 100 to make their way to the second hand racks. After lugging this busted box across town for what seems like forever (although in reality it was only 10 minutes, I found this out in my last adventure there) we get to the counter. The clerk, not being unwise to this common dash for cash, sifted through our collection as we handed them to him, some stayed on the desk, most went in the bin. On about the third fistful of CD’s it was becoming apparent that our dreams and wishes of living the youth equivalent of a Rockefeller party dude that evening was rapidly shrinking. At this point, I think we were beginning to feel happy if we broke even on the bus money it took to get there.
unkonshus-7 unkonshus-14As our hopes of joining the party that night disappeared faster than the CD’s in our busted box, I reached in for the fifth or sixth handful and whilst passing them to the, now pleased with himself, clerk I came across a promo single from a band called “Fall Out Boy”. Not really being into sugarcoated pop punk or that softer side of the emerging Emo scene, I had heard of them but hadn’t paid attention or listened to their records. I suppose when you are a younger music listener, the line you draw in the sand musically is almost as important as the haircut you sport. Whilst I had gotten into Dillinger Escape Plan, the used and even My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy had always been my limit. Either it wasn’t dark enough, or it was too mainstream… and I suppose that comes back to what I was suggesting with the line in the sand. Yet, for some reason as I was passing it over I felt compelled to hold on to it, this moment has stuck with me ever since. It was a moment that I have spoken about with Jesslynn a number of times. Here was a CD, that probably was the best chance we had of making any coin as they were just reaching the height of their careers, essentially it was the reason we came down to the store… and here I was trying to hold on to it.

Man, am I glad I did. At first Jesslynn was surprised but with this impending desire to get the Hell out of the store and save any more embarrassment caused by the worthlessness of the treasure in our busted box she simply shrugged her shoulders and let me have my cake.
unkonshus-23It would be almost 6 months before I would listen to that CD. Living in Vancouver on a very skint budget and an even smaller music collection due to a recent laptop robbery I put the CD on in my then roommate’s stereo, of course while she was at work. From that moment I was hooked, and not hooked in a fleeting manner, I WAS HOOKED. Something about the lyrical structure of Patrick Stump that turned me into a Fall Out Boy evangelist, I was preaching the good word to anyone that would listen and even those who would tell me to shut up. Dudes who were at punk parties listening to the Cramps and GG Allen, I was asking them if they had heard of Fall Out Boy? Girls in bars listening to Motley Crue and Poison… I was asking them if they had heard of Fall Out Boy? Nobody wanted to listen and if they did hear me, they thought it was cute that I had such an affection and affiliation for what was essentially a teenage pop punk band. I didn’t care.

Returning back to Australia, it was only then that I realised how much my time away was encapsulated with Fall Out Boy and it all begin with that one promo single. Very few ever really understood my grown up love for the band, and there are a lot who think it is downright strange. I guess we all have those bands and CD’s that set the tone for a period of time in our lives, something we put on and go back to period that was neither the best nor the worst, it was just a period. I don’t have have many of those, as the bands I still like and enjoy are kicking around and wether they are still making music of any worth is neither here nor there, but Fall Out Boy, that’s my retro jam. Put it on and I go back in time.

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