UTG PHOTOS: Fall Out Boy, Awolnation, and PVRIS in New York, NY (03/04/16)

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“Did you check everything? Are your batteries fully charged? Are your lenses clean? Seriously, check everything!” To say I gain a little OCD before shooting shows at Madison Square Garden is an understatement. It’s not that I don’t triple-check things to begin with, but this is the most famous arena in the world. You want to have all your ducks in a row. I had waited to take pictures of Fall Out Boy for a long time. Chalk it up to bad timing – either timing was not initially right or I had been completely scatterbrained and not put in a request. The first time I saw Fall Out Boy live was on a rainy night at New Jersey’s infamous Skate And Surf Festival. This was shortly after the reunion and I’ve always wanted to take pictures of the band since then. Flash forward to MSG and a show that’s been sold out for months.

What is there left to be said about PVRIS? I’ve gotten to write and take pictures of this band on a Warped Tour stage last summer, and attached to the side of a wall like a C.I.A. operative during their sold-out show at The Studio at Webster Hall last summer as well. Here they were, on the big stage in an arena. It’s great to follow a band on a journey as they get the notoriety that they worked so hard for. It was on this night that they performed their recently released single, “You And I,” which some fans already knew all the words to.


The more I see Awolnation live, the more I start to like their music. It’s much more than their biggest song, “Sail,” which I belt out the famous tagline from, from time to time. If you can say anything about this band, it’s that they put a lot of spirit into their performance. Lead singer Aaron Bruno is always a ball of energy. “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” has also become a personal favorite of mine. Keep in mind that the demographic for this show was a bit younger – some songs may have gotten lost in translation a bit while the fans waited for Fall Out Boy. Overall, it was a good seven-song set.

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The main event: Fall Out Boy opened up with “Irresistible,” the undeniably catchy tune from their 2015 album, American Beauty/American Psycho. There was a two-sided ramp onstage which all the band members—with exception of drummer Andy Hurley—took turns walking and running through during the hour-long set. One of my best friends took her daughter to the show. She’s 14. No, I don’t feel old yet, but it’s a good thing when a band can last through multiple generations, even after a hiatus. Fall Out Boy have hits on top of hits and it took me listening through the show to realize that. “Sugar, We’re Goin Down,” “Dance, Dance,” and you can’t leave out ESPN’s favorite, “Centuries,” just to name a few. Just when you think that Fall Out Boy might go away, they write some song that gets stuck in your head. I think when they initially announced their hiatus, we didn’t realize how good they were and now that they’re back, we appreciate them even more.




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