I don’t really have a problem with artists who were once part of a group or band attempting to establish their own identity. That said,

I can’t think of an artist I’ve seen in concert (who was once part of a band) going out of their way to not perform said band’s songs. Robert Plant performed Led Zeppelin songs. Ben Folds played Ben Folds Five songs. Then again, neither of these guys was attempting to make the full-on genre switch that Patrick Stump is.

The former Fall Out Boy frontman has decided to embark on a short solo tour before he even has an official album out, and the tour hit Boston club Great Scott on April 5th and 6th. I saw the latter of the two dates, and although Stump appears to be an energetic entertainer, and it’s likely the smallest venue he’s played in Beantown in the better part of a decade, I wasn’t blown away by the experience of seeing him live.

The crowd for the second night was significantly older-most attendees I saw appeared to be in their twenties or thirties, a sharp contrast from night one (according to several friends who attended the first show as well as some of the venue’s staff) when the crowd seemed to solely consist of girls between the ages of 18-21. The venue was at about 75% capacity when Patrick took the stage to perform one of two versions of current single “Spotlight” (from his current EP Truant Wave). Nattily dressed in an “Off the Wall”-replica tux and rocking the Eighties’ style black fingerless gloves, Stump’s music had a very ’80s pop-funk vibe to it, occasionally recalling Prince’s Revolution. He then channeled the Purple One directly by performing a solo version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” at the piano.

Like I said, the guy’s talented. However, the show didn’t totally connect for several reasons. One is that the music was unfamiliar to most of the crowd-not totally Patrick’s fault, but it definitely created a disconnect. The only time the crowd really came alive was during the encore, when he performed the second version of “Spotlight” and closed with “Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast in America”, the Gym Class Heroes song in which he performed the chorus. The other issue was that there appeared to be some sound issues-not sure whether that was on Stump’s end (he complained about throat problems) or the venue’s end (which I would doubt, seeing as I’ve seen tons of shows there before without any major sound issues). Regardless of who was responsible, the mix appeared to be off.

Like I said earlier, Patrick seemed totally invested in his performance and gave off a very energetic vibe (although his increasingly gaunt appearance and spastic stage moves make me wonder if the energy isn’t chemically induced), however there was a disconnect that I can’t completely explain. While I think the guy’s an incredible talent and look forward to his full-length solo debut, I can’t say I’d be too psyched about seeing him in concert again.

 

 

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