Intrust Bank Arena put on a rare show on Tuesday in which soda sales may have outpaced beer sales.
Fall Out Boy, the rock band whose songs are often borrowed for use as sports anthems, made a tour stop in Wichita and drew 9,000 fans – more than any concert in the building so far this year. (Though, admittedly, Barry Manilow and Brad Paisley on his third trip through town have been the only competitors.)
Much of the crowd was made up of tweens to young 20-somethings, and several had earplug-equipped parents in tow.
Fall Out Boy’s 22-song set had enough rock-show extras to make Wednesday’s schoolday weariness worthwhile, from lasers to streamers to balloons to fireworks.
The show started with an eardrum-piercing scream from the crowd as the four members of the band, unofficially led by bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz, appeared on stage. The band opened with radio hit “Irresistible,” a version of which they’ve recorded with pop star Demi Lovato. As the band played, artificial snow fell from the rafters, an homage to the “Wintour” title the band gave this tour.
Fall Out Boy next launched into one of its biggest hits, 2005’s “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” and the crowd provided the first few verses without lead singer Patrick Stump, who had plenty of vocal work ahead of him. Fall Out Boy’s songs, and their song titles, are famously verbose.
Stump, whose strong , multi-octave tenor is one of the best things about Fall Out Boy, had many moments during the show and at one point was on stage alone with just a piano, beautifully belting the intro to “Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes.” Partway through, the lights came up, streamers fell from the ceiling, and the rest of the band joined in.
Also on the set list: “The Phoenix,” “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” “This Ain’t a Scene It’s an Arms Race,” “Dance,” “Fourth of July” “Uma Thurman” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs.”
During “American Beauty/American Psycho,” giant balloons dropped over the crowd, who kept them aloft, and the band launched fireworks and dropped confetti during its final three songs, including popular sports anthems “Centuries” and “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up.)”
The opening acts were up-and-coming rock bands Pvris (pronounced Paris) and Awolnation, and both have a strong-enough fan base that the arena was full when they started. Few in this crowd came late hoping to just catch the headliner.
Awolnation’s set was particularly strong, and the Los Angeles-based electronic rock band produced a sound that was part metal, part 1980s synth pop. The band’s performance of its biggest hit, 2011’s “Sail,” had encore-level energy, and the crowd knew all the words.