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From The Magic Eight Ball: The 10 Songs Fall Out Boy NEED To Play Live

Thursday, 26 October 2023 Written by Simon Ramsay

Photo: Pamela Littky

Not content with delivering their best album in a good while with this year’s ‘So Much For Stardust’, throughout Fall Out Boy’s recent US tour the band have also gifted fans some very special surprises during the ‘magic eight ball’ section of their set. Blindly pulling out and performing deep cuts, B-Sides and rarities, many of which have never been performed live, is a delightful idea. We'd love them to continue during their forthcoming UK tour, and here are some ideas should they have time on their hands to resurrect a few more old-stagers.

Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain For My Sham Friends

One of the most egregious and long-standing omissions from the band’s live set, and a truly brilliant title allegedly coined by Francis Bacon, before being popularised via Tom Waits, it’s time for this underrated cut from ‘From Under the Cork Tree’ to strike like a jovial scorpion on stage. From its searing guitar riff to fleet-footed boogie bridge and unforgettable hook that epitomises Patrick Stump’s laudable knack for turning Pete Wentz’s tongue-twisting lyrics into earworm gold, it’s simply massive.

The (Shipped) Gold Standard

There are many reasons fans would go to crazy lengths to hear this gem from ‘Folie A Deux’ live. Not only because its crunchy swaggering mid-tempo verses and silky-smooth bridge ooze pure class, but also due to a magnificently rendered chorus that couldn’t be more vintage FOB if it fell apart to half time, before going down swinging, in the middle of an arms race. 


Controversial choice from ‘Save Rock and Roll’, you say? This old school ripper may polarise the band’s fanbase due to co-writer Courtney Love’s grungy guest vocals, but even its biggest naysayers admit that allowing Stump’s eviscerating delivery free-rein, coupled with its anarchic battle cry bridge and imperiously constructed modern pop refrain, would be suitably epic.

Guilty As Charged (Tell Hip Hop I’m Literate)

An unreleased demo from 2008, which featured on their ‘Fresh Only Bakery’ EP and largely informed Gym Class Heroes’ similarly named song, Wentz and the boys should have clung onto its genre-stretching funkiness with an iron grip. Guaranteed to freak out rock purists with its jazzy keys, chippy wah guitar moves and lascivious horns, good luck to any steward trying to stop more enlightened fans dancing in the aisles if this hip-shaker leaps out of the eight ball.

Alpha Dog

Taken from their first greatest hits effort ‘Believers Never Die’, and partially aired in concert once, Alpha Dog dissects and deconstructs the dizzying whirlwind-like impact of showbiz and fame on one’s sense of self. Surely the first and only rock (or any) song to deploy the lyric ‘omegalomaniac’, its scintillating and slightly quirky tsunami of melodious emo and classic rock will remind everyone exactly why they fell in love with FOB in the first place. 

It’s Not A Side Effect Of The Cocaine, I Am Thinking It Must Be Love

Recalling early Dashboard Confessional, lighters will be held high and handsome if this short acoustic heartbreaker from stripped-back effort ‘My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue’ is plucked from the eight ball. Although masters at delivering contagious anthemic smash hits with propulsive melodramatic bombast, intimate numbers like this reveal that, due to the strength of their songwriting and Stump’s exceptionally expressive voice, the full bells and whistles treatment isn’t always needed.

It’s Hard To Say I Do When I Don’t 

A bonus track from the Japanese deluxe edition of ‘Infinity on High’, this super-cool peach of a tune casually unleashes the kind of overdriven guitar blasts, intensely tuneful emo hooks and radio-ready melodies that defined peak Fall Out Boy. And surely a chorus that passionately declares “put your hands in the air” has to be played live at some point, right? 

Austin, We Have A Problem

An early, somewhat weird and goofy, demo for ‘From Under The Cork Tree’, you could wear a hundred masks, two hazmat suits, isolate yourself away from mankind and this catchy ditty would still find a way to infect you. Oscillating between psychedelic folk, bursts of ‘70s inflected emo pop and climaxing with a brilliantly cheesy hook, it’s a peppy song for underdogs that will colonise every synaptic connection in your defenceless head. 

Hand of God

This raw demo from the ‘...Cork Tree’ sessions is a dark diamond that showcases some of Wentz’s most telling confessional lines. Bulging with interesting ideas that include flame-healed retro guitar lines, smart tempo pivots and throat-ripping screams from the lyricist, all it’s really lacking is a Diego Maradona reference. 

Twin Skeleton’s (Hotel In NYC) 

Although their latter day material splits opinions, this cult favourite from ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ proves that, when they nail the balance between past and present, FOB can thrive within any genre. Utilising the band’s trademark DNA to construct a muscular and modern electro-rock body, Twin Skeletons is a monstrous, evil-sounding beast that will sound immense reverberating around enormodomes.

Fall Out Boy Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri October 27 2023 - LEEDS first direct Arena
Sat October 28 2023 - GLASGOW OVO Hydro
Sun October 29 2023 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Tue October 31 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena
Thu November 02 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Fri November 03 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Sat November 04 2023 - CARDIFF Utilita Arena

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