Fall Out Boy delight fans with career-spanning Reading Festival headline set

The Reading & Leeds veterans played a mix of new favourites and old rarities

After a day that included Bring Me the Horizon’s triumphant live return, and huge sets from Post Malone and Travis Scott on the main stage, Fall Out Boy had to pull it out of the bag for their headline set, especially when they were battling set clashes with Wolf Alice and The Horrors; but you needn’t have worried, as the festival veterans triumphed.

Opening with bonkers, futuristic visuals, the band launch straight into ‘Thriller’ from the their third record ‘Infinity on High’. This set the tone for the entire show, which was a whistle-stop tour through Fall Out Boy’s seven albums; with a handful of older, rarely played live tunes (like their set opener) sprinkled throughout.

Blitzing through ‘The Phoenix’ and ‘Irresistible’, complete with pyro and Pete Wentz’s bass being transformed into a flamethrower, the quartet then take a brief respite to welcome the thousands of punters. “What’s up Reading we are Fall Out Boy from Chicago, Illinois. Thank you guys for sitting out in the rain with us we really fucking appreciate it,” Pete greets the crowd, “It’s so wild we’re headlining Reading, it’s like a dream come true thank you guys for being here with us. This is the first song that brought us over to Reading and Leeds, it’s for the mosh pit,” he tells the audience, before launching into ‘Sugar, We’re Goin Down’.


Pete checks in with the crowd throughout, telling them to throw their pals on their shoulders (“if they say it’s not allowed, I’m saying it is allowed, so it’s all good!”), and imparting wisdom to the youngsters “The world they tell you along the way that you need to fit into a certain mould, but be you, do you as loud as you can, stay dangerous!” It’s schtick the frontman has perfected over the past seventeen years of being in Fall Out Boy, which is why it works so well.

Set highlights come with the tunes the band play less often: ‘Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes’ makes its first outing of 2018, with a huge audience sing-a-long to the anthemic bridge of “detox, just to retox”, whilst ‘Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy’ (from the band’s debut ‘Take This to Your Grave’) re-opened up the pits. Meanwhile the band’s greatest hits like ‘Dance, Dance’ and ‘Thnks fr th Mmrs’ are still roaringly good fun live, over a decade since they were first released.

Finishing with ‘Centuries’, the band disappear for a few moments, before bounding back on stage. “We’ve got a couple of more for you guys, can we take a picture?” Pete asks. Snap done, they dive into their encore of ‘My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)’ with an accompanying pyro show. “Thank you guys very, very, very much, you are our favourite people and this is our favourite place to be, so thank you for having it with us” Pete tells the audience, before the band play their traditional set closer of ‘Saturday’. After a decade performing at the festival Fall Out Boy’s well earned headline slot was slick, sharp and a hell of a lot of fun, and really, what more could you ask for?

Fall Out Boy played:


The Phoenix
Sugar, We’re Goin Down
Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea
Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes
Uma Thurman
The Last of the Real Ones
Save Rock and Roll
Dance, Dance
Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)
Beat It (Michael Jackson cover)
Thnks fr th Mmrs
I Don’t Care
This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race
Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy

My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)