LOWELL — The line of teenage girls and chaperoning parents around Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Mass. Tuesday was a quarter of a mile long. Anyone walking to the end of it is a witness to every color in the neon rainbow “" on t-shirts, shoelaces, and even sections of hair. What could possibly have all of these scenesters lined up in a balmy 94 degree day? Only the wet dream of emo rock tours this summer “" The Believers Never Die Tour Part Deux.
As one dad stated while waiting in line with his daughter, “This is what it was like 20 years ago for us lining up for Ozzy and Motley Crue. They are all dressed up and so into it.”
The tour includes five acts starting with Hey Monday, Metro Station, All Time Low, Cobra Starship and is capitalized with pop-rock giants Fall Out Boy. The concert was completely sold out which means approximately 5,000 jubilant fans crammed into the floor pit of Tsongas while 1,500 their parents and the more claustrophobic fans fill out the arena seats circling the stage. Their screams grew louder and closer to pandemonium with each act that took the stage.
Hey Monday, the newest act to Pete Wentz’s Fueled By Ramen imprint label Decaydance, kept things light and exciting during the opening set but things began to get unkosher when Metro Station took the stage. Trace Cyrus (Yes, of the Miley relation “" her half brother) spent more time throwing his guitar than actually playing it (observation: there was never a time when he strummed and sang at the same time). The stands erupted when Cyrus took off his shirt right before the crowd favorite, “Shake It.” The intensity of the reaction caused one girl to be pulled out of the pit (which looked more like a squared off block of human sardines than actual people) unconscious and rushed backstage for medical attention.
Still, the most disturbing moment of the night came when All Time Low front man Alex Gaskarth requested that all willing girls to throw their bras on stage during the Virginia rockers’ set. Before he could finish the first verse there were dozens of undergarments being thrown on stage, which is even more unsettling when you realize that the mean age of everyone close to the stage is 14 and the sex Gaskarth offered for their undergarments is illegal in all 50 states. The ordeal has me extremely worried about the welfare and mentality of the upcoming concert-going generation.
After the All Time Low set there seemed to be a mass exodus of underage (and now unsupported) teenage girls, only to be replaced by a new crowd of slightly older — but still tripped out in neon — fans who seemed to flank from the wings to take their spots in the pit for the headlining acts.
Cobra Starship lead singer Gabe Saporta refrained from asking for lingerie (though one or two were still thrown at bassist Alex Suarez) and stuck to making jokes about swine flu and teaching the crowd the “international Cobra symbol” -”" throwing fangs up before ending with their flagship song “Snakes On a Plane” and fan favorite “Guilty Pleasure.”
It has to be said that Fall Out Boy lived up to their headlining position though. Their performance was decked out with background video, snare drummers in full SWAT attire and even a wardrobe change. The Chicago-based quartet rocked out for over an hour, playing songs from all four of their albums from the first, “Take This To Your Grave” to the December-released “Folie A Deux”.
Bassist Pete Wentz handled most of the between song banter, commenting on everything from political current events to a poster in the front row pleading “DON’T SELL OUT.” Wentz countered that the band never sold out, merely “bought in” “"- whatever that means.
Overall, it felt like two separate concerts where each band performed for their own respective audiences. There was always something to watch, which is all you could ask for from a show, but in some cases it felt like -”" for better or worse “"- the emphasis was more on the spectacle than the songs being presented. At the end of the night, despite a few disturbing moments, Believers Never Die turned out to be a thoroughly entertaining show and I’ll place a bet that it ends up being one of the most successful of the entire summer.
Stick with Blast as we post our interview with Cobra Starship bassist, Alex Suarez next week!