I finally saw Fall Out Boy in conert last night.

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I attended the Fall Out Boy Save Rock and Roll arena tour in Broomfield, Colorado last night. It was amazing. It didn’t have all of the pomp and circumstance that some of the other shows did (i.e. no pyrotechnics, etc.) But it didn’t matter. Fall Out Boy, as well as the two opening acts) put on one hell of a show. Now that I’ve had a few hours to reflect on the events of the day (technically yesterday), I have decided that it was one of the best experiences of my life. That is not an easy thing for me to say. I have had many amazing experiences when it has come to concerts.

It’s strange. I waited 12/13 years to see the Backstreet Boys live in concert. They had been my world for so long when I finally saw them. They had done so much for me. Their music had been there for me when nothing else was. It was an amazing day. I fangirled as soon as they hit the stage for the first time. I danced and sang along to every song. In fact, I almost fainted from the excitement of the whole thing (and a bit of dehydration). I would do it all over again in a heart beat. I would never want to miss that experience.

Yet somehow, in only a fraction of the years I’ve been a fan of the Backstreet Boys, Fall Out Boy has come to mean more to me than the Backstreet Boys do. Part of this has to do with me growing apart from their music. But Fall Out Boy is also part of the reason I grew apart from it. This by no means diminishes what BSB did for me for years. They are the band that kept me alive more times than I care to count. I will always love them and their older music. But I think that the boys and I are in different places when it comes to our musical tastes. But I still love and support them with all my heart. That being said, there is a connection between Fall Out Boy and myself that has NEVER been there with Backstreet. I don’t even know what it is. I don’t know if it’s Joe Trohman’s guitar playing, Andy Hurley’s killer drum beats, Pete Wentz’s words, or Patrick Stump’s voice, or if it’s the combination of it all.

Before I continue with this, let me give you a “brief” history of my relationship with Fall Out Boy:

2005 – I hear ‘Sugar, We’re Going Down’ and ‘Dance, Dance’ on the radio. I decide they are catchy, but hard to understand. But I know that I want to hear the singer of that band to sing ‘Dirty Little Secret’, and All-American Rejects to sing Fall Out Boy’s songs.

2006 – I hear ‘This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race’ on the radio. I’m sort of a fan of the band, but not really. But I know that I like them more than All-American Rejects and decide that except for the lack of understanding the words, the song is catchy and I kinda like it.

2007 – I see the video for ‘Thnks Fr Th Mmrs’ and am hooked on the song and video. However the video ONLY catches my eyes due to the fact that the intro mentions Panic! at the Disco, whom I am currently in love with. But this new FOB song has got me paying more attention to the band. Also, Pete Wentz is HOT!!!

2007 – SIDENOTE: I hear ‘Cupid’s Chokehold’ by Gym Class Heroes on the radio, and I despise it, except for the chorus. I love the sound of that man’s voice and don’t understand why they didn’t just have him sing the whole song. (I will find out in 2011 that Patrick Stump was singing that part.)

2008 – I hear ‘America’s Suitehearts’ on the radio, and while I can sing along to it better, I don’t get it and remain a casual fan of the band. I enjoy hearing them on the radio, I just wish the radio would play more Backstreet Boys.

November 11, 2010 – While mindlessly flipping through channels on the TV, a music video catches my eye. The video is hilarious; two men in nun costumes robbing a convenience store. The song is catchy, and funny. I wait, with bated breath, to find out what this song is called and who sings it. To my surprise it is Fall Out Boy. So I go download ‘I Don’t Care’ on iTunes as well as a few other songs from Folie a Deux and go about listening to them repeatedly, but especially ‘I Don’t Care’.

End of November, 2010 – After learning the words to my new FOB songs and singing ‘I Don’t Care’ as a personal anthem, it happens again. I am mindlessly flipping through channels on the TV and another song and video catches my eye. However, I instantly recognize it as the singer from Fall Out Boy this time. I listen to the song and fall in love and idly wonder whether it’s a FOB song or if the singer went solo. I watch until the end and see it is a FOB song from the same album as ‘I Don’t Care’. I’m out buying Folie a Deux the next day. I know at this point that I must own this entire album. I listen to the whole thing and am instantly in love with the whole album. It is one of the best records I’ve ever heard. I especially love hearing the singer from Panic! singing on one of the tracks. I have now transitioned from a casual fan/listener to a hardcore Fangirl of this band. I now know what I want for Christmas and my birthday.

Christmas Day, 2010 – I receive Take This To Your Grave and Believers Never Die for Christmas presents. I listen to them all day. I kinda like Take This To Your Grave, but I LOVE the Greatest Hits album.

January 2011 – I download Infinity On High and From Under The Cork Tree for my birthday presents. I can now name every member of the band, although I still get Andy and Joe confused sometimes. I am also in the process of switching my focus from Pete to Patrick. I also get a Happy Birthday tweet from Patrick Stump. I scream, flail, and almost fall out of my chair. I have officially hit fangirl status and decide that I need to go find some fellow FOB fans. Then while searching for information on FOB’s next album, I find one of the single-most devastating tidbits of information you can find when getting into a band: They are on an indefinite hiatus. I am crushed. However Patrick is putting out a cappella videos and I am shocked and in awe of how he looks and sounds. I also find out he’s working on a solo record. This helps lighten the blow of the hiatus.

February 2011 – Patrick Stump releases Truant Wave and I am in love with this EP and Patrick’s new sound. I get mad at people who are mad at him for not making a record that sounds like Fall Out Boy (although I will admit I was a little disappointed myself).

April 2011 – I watch a livestream of Patrick performing and decide that I NEED to see him live.

Summer 2011 – Patrick does a solo tour. I can’t go/convince my friend to go to St. Louis with me to see him perform. I cry.

August 2011 – My mother randomly brings home the paper to let me look at it. She never does that. But I flip through a Cityview anyway. I always like to read the music columns. As I’m flipping a page I never look at in Cityview, a tiny bit of bold print catches my eye. Panic! at the Disco is going to be performing in my home city. I’ve always wanted to see them, but have never had the chance. I convince my now-almost-addicted best friend that we need to order tickets to go see Panic.

September 4, 2011 – We order Panic tickets, partially as a birthday present to her.

September 7, 2011 – Panic and Patrick announce they are touring together. I scream, flail, and fall off my bed before attempting to text my best friend the good news.

October 18, 2011 – Soul Punk is released and I’m in love.

November 9, 2011 – After months of prep work, and almost 1 year to the day since I’d discovered my love for FOB, I get to see Panic and Patrick perform live. It’s as good as I’d hoped. I meet, and get to talk to Patrick after the show. He signs my Soul Punk lithograph and I get a couple pictures with him. When I leave, I go skipping down the sidewalk.

November 10, 2011 – 24 hours after meeting Patrick, I am a weeping ball on my bed. I finally put it together in my head that although they were so different, that FOB Patrick and Solo Patrick were one and the same person. Logically I had always known this, but I had kept them slightly separate in my head. Now that they were one-and-the-same, I was a crying mess. Fall Out Boy had done so much for me in one year than any other band had in several years and Patrick was part of that group. I am now happy and sad; happy to have had the chance to meet the man who had helped me, sad knowing that it could be a long time, if ever, that FOB came off hiatus.

February 4, 2013 – After so many rumors, as well as a few odd things, Fall Out Boy announce they’re officially off-hiatus and not only is there a new single, but a new album, a new video for the single, and a tour. I scream. I cry. I have a smile on my face all day and refuse to stop listening to ‘My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ’em Up)’ and I am on twitter with my fellow Car Crash Hearts reveling in their return.

Late February 2013 – The Spring Tour sells out faster than I can get tickets. I purchase a pre-order bundle for Save Rock and Roll as a consolation.

March 2013 – A Fall Arena Tour is announced and tickets to the closest show are purchased.

April 2013 – Amongst a whirlwind of crap and bad things that are happening, FOB tickets arrive and I now have a brighter outlook.

Now we skip ahead to September 14, 2013 – My best friend and I are now heading to Colorado to attend our FOB show and M&G.

Last night, after almost 3 years of waiting, I get to meet Fall Out Boy and watch them perform on a stage, live and right on front of me. There were aggravating moments in the crowd, but it didn’t matter. Pete, Patrick, Joe, and Andy were real, live, flesh and blood human beings right in front of me. There was a lot of dancing and singing and screaming from me. I also cried several times as I stood in a crowd watching those four men who meant so much to me, whose lyrics and music had helped me embrace my strangeness and uniqueness and helped me realize there was no reason to hide who I was. I stood in that crowd of people who not only understood my love for them, but shared in my love and obsession for them. For a brief moment in time, we were all friends and family with each other. I’ve never felt so part of a whole as I did last night, not even when I saw the Backstreet Boys. Even now as I type this, there are tears from the memories of the show. I feel complete for having seen these men perform live. I am sore, slightly bruised, limping, and still dehydrated from the whole thing, but I’d do it all again, over and over. It was magical. It was a religious experience. The only thing I’d ever change about how it went down, even with all the crap I went through in the crowd, is that I’d make sure to have water with me so I didn’t have to hold back the last little bit.

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