I recently got the kind of email that my 14-year-old self, who dreamt of becoming a pop culture writer someday, would’ve lost her mind over. It said, simply: “Heard you’re a fan of Fall Out Boy … Do you want to come to a private, live performance in a half-hour?”
Okay, my 14-year-old self wouldn’t have dreamed it exactly like that, since that was, ahem, around the time the Fall Out boys were toddlers, but sub in The Bangles and you get the idea. Word on the street is, in fact, accurate: I do loooove myself some FOB.
A 34-year-old woman, I will happily don a hoodie and Converse and unabashedly bring the median age up a decade (okay, two) at an FOB show. I will spend embarrassing amounts of time analyzing their wordplay-obsessed (“The best part of believe is the lie”!), metaphor-heavy (“I love you in the same way there’s a chapel in a hospital”!), oh-so-emo (“I’m in love with my own sin”!) lyrics with my 24-year-old sister — with whom I got hooked on them back when they were just emerging from our hometown of Chicago.
I don’t really care to debate the merits of their music (I just think it’s awesome, so deal with it). Here’s what I do know: I like that listening to them in my iPod makes even a trip to Trader Joe’s feel epic. I like words, especially ones I can imagine doodling in my notebook during class and feeling super-deep. I like to like stuff from Chicago. I like to like stuff with my sister. I like hoodies. That magical email asking if I was a fan unleashed all this like in me, and suddenly I was driven by the kind of single-minded excitement that used to fuel me for months — months! — while anticipating an upcoming concert in my teens, whether it was The Bangles or Cyndi Lauper or Depeche Mode or New Kids on the Block.
And the experience totally lived up to the (mere half-hour of) hype in this case: Patrick Stump sang, like, 50 feet from me. Not only that, but the band indulged in gobs of for-fans-only talk about their music, like how they come up with their absurdly referenc-y song titles, to why they quoted their own lyrics from other songs in numbers like “What a Catch, Donnie,” which they performed along with “America’s Suitehearts,” “Thnks fr th Mmrs,” “I Don’t Care,” “Grand Theft Autumn,” and more … I know, I know, totally dorky. (“Sugar I’m Going Down” clip embedded below, luckily without any crowd shots that could include me swooning.) The entire broadcast airs on Sirius XM’s Artist Confidential on the Hits 1 channel and 20 on 20 at 9 p.m. tonight EST, and will be rebroadcast at noon Tuesday, midnight Wednesday, 3 p.m. Thursday, and 9 a.m. Saturday. Or you can get info here.) I loved every minute, and I loved loving it without analyzing it — the way that we, as cynical adults, start to do more and more as we grow up. (And don’t get me started on the level of analysis my job requires — which, much as I enjoy it, can distract you from the joy that got you there.
So now that you’ve been subjected to this unapologetically impassioned outburst, I ask you, Music Mixers: Which bands or artists get you going like a teenager? (Who makes you feel like this Twilight fan girl?)