There has been a considerable amount of chatter lately from some Fall Out Boy fans in regard to what we, as a band, do with our time after we play a show for you guys. Certain folks feel entitled to certain things. What is expected out of us, past a great rock show, seems to perplex me.
But before I get too deep into that, I want to expound on what it was like for me growing up and seeing shows.
When I saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers almost 20 years ago, it was a transcendent experience. Being able to see Petty, Campbell and the rest off the band in the flesh was unreal. And hearing them play these songs that I only associated with a terrible cassette playing boom-box opened up a whole new world for me.
I knew, from there on out, that I was going to see as many bands live as humanly possible. Hearing these songs I loved so much in a live setting gave a whole new meaning to them. Seeing the bands/artists who wrote them actually play them blew my mind.
That was always enough for me, and my friends. Maybe we wanted a shirt too. But we never waited by the gate to meet Petty. It never made sense to me. The same with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Jesus Lizard, NIN, or the multitude of punk rock/hardcore bands I’ve seen over the past many many years.
Maybe if I ran into them I’d love to say, “Great show!”. But they gave me what I came for. A show. I didn’t come for a picture, or an autograph. I came for an experience. They already gave me hours of their lives, and passionately.
And I knew they appreciated me being there. They didn’t have to tell me personally. That wasn’t the point. That never, EVER, crossed my mind even.
The point was to experience their wonderful music in a live setting. It was to be with a sea of people who wanted to feel the same way I did. It existed and happened so I could ingrain real, meaningful memories. Plain and simple.
These memories and experiences would shape who I have become today. I now am lucky enough to be part of a band that gets the opportunity to be, for you ,what those bands/artists were for me.
And how lucky I am indeed. We have great fans, and tons to boot. We went away for 4 years and they stuck by us. And we even seemed to get some new ones too. I can’t begin to express my appreciation for all of you.
Now we’re back. We made a new record, for you. And now we’re on tour. We rehearsed for it. We planned a cool production. We picked songs we thought you’d really like. We worked really hard to get it all together. We play an hour and a half a night. We’re a bit older, but we try to rock just as hard as we did when we were kids. We do this ALL for you guys.
To see that, for some of you, it isn’t enough is…well…it’s kind of sad. Listen, I understand wanting to meet the members of a band you really, truly love. I appreciate it too. But is that the whole reason you came to see us? Would it be better if we didn’t play and we just did a really long meet and greet? Is that really the point of it all?
I assumed that the point was to have this larger than life interaction between us on stage and you guys in the crowd. You give us your all and we give you our all. And then afterwards, if we run into each other that’s great. And if we don’t, that’s fine too. It’s not a “fuck you” if we don’t meet. It just didn’t happen.
Again, we love you guys. We appreciate you guys. Without our fans, we would not exist, we would not matter. I’d like to believe that we have always been true to that fact. We respect you guys. I think, perhaps, we could use a little bit of reciprocation at times.
Thanks for reading this.