That Time Fall Out Boy Played The London Dungeon
Exactly one decade ago Kerrang! ran a competition to win tickets to what was both the weirdest and coolest gig of all time: Fall Out Boy playing the London Dungeon, a walk-through attraction that transports you back to the times of Jack The Ripper and the Great Fire Of London. The miniscule show was in support of the quartet’s fourth album, Folie à Deux, which was due out that coming December. And obviously we were there.
The year was 2008, and it was a chilly Thursday in October. Patience and jacket fillings were tested equally as 80 competition winners waited beneath the arches on Tooley Street in the freezing cold. Because, rather comedically, there’d been a power cut in the Dungeon and an electrician had to be called out, which pushed the show time back from 10pm to well past 11pm.
Once inside, winners were greeted by staff in full costume, jumping out and making creepy remarks. People extricated themselves from their coats as drinks tokens were placed in hands – three small squares of plastic adorned with Folie à Deux’s striking red cover art (which depicts a young boy dressed as a bear giving a piggyback to a real bear). The artwork was also used on big cardboard arrows directing people to the room where the evening’s madness would take place. This writer asked Jack The Ripper himself if she could take one after the show. He said no, but she ripped it off the wall anyway.
After following the twists and turns of several tunnels, everyone crammed inside the room Fall Out Boy were set to play: an actual dungeon (and a slight departure from Wembley Arena, which they’d taken over the night before). It was eerie as hell and smelt musty – like gun powder and meat pies. There were skeletons and chains hanging from the ceiling, and no fancy lighting set-up, just one modest spotlight which alternated between purple and green.
At 11:15pm, four figures dressed head to toe in black, arrived through Traitor’s Gate (which doubled as a backdrop for the stage) and launched straight into Thnks Fr Th Mmrs. Patrick Stump still had those massive sideburns, Andy Hurley and Joe Trohman long curly hair, and Pete Wentz was sporting his famous emo fringe and black eyeliner.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve played a show this small,” the bassist said, before asking the crowd if they wanted to hear old or new songs. People screamed for the early material as if they’d just been sentenced to the gallows, and the band dutifully ran through Homesick At Space Camp and Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy. The tiny room coupled with a two-speaker PA system equalled the sound quality of a band playing in their parents’ garage – and it was awesome.
After a quick between song break which saw Pete and Patrick quietly confer, Pete asked which song people would like to hear next on this DIY set list (which the bassist repeatedly referred to as them “pulling out of our asses”). “Dead On Arrival!” someone screamed louder than the rest and the band launched into it, with Pete and Patrick throwing each other contented smiles – the intimate venue coupled with an old-school set list undoubtedly filling them with warm and fuzzy nostalgia.
The next request came in the form of Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today. Chicago Is So Two Years Ago and Saturday were played later, making it the closest Fall Out Boy have ever come to playing Take This To Your Grave in full in the UK (something they’ve insisted they’ll probably never do).
Things reached peak surreal with This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race, which saw Dungeon staff crowd-surfing in full costume, people waving bones in the air, and Patrick shouting: “London Dungeon… SING IT!” before that final chorus kicked in.
“I wanna hear every motherfucker in this room sing along,” added Pete with the arrival of Folie track I Don’t Care, before stopping mid-song to make a penis joke, which he later worked into the lyrics (‘The best of us can find a penis in Missouri’).
While Pete was wonderfully lowering the tone, Patrick acquired a pair of fluffy bear ears, which he propped atop his trucker cap. They remained there for the entire duration of Dance, Dance, which ended with Fall Out Boy thanking Kerrang! and the London Dungeon for making the night happen. The musicians then turned their appreciation on one another, with Pete thanking Patrick for being “cute as a button”, and the quartet ended, like they always have and always will, on Saturday. A ghoul jumped onstage and threw himself into the crowd, and Pete followed suit, screaming the track’s closing lines to a room full of people literally pinching themselves.
It was once of those once-in-a-life-time evenings that leaves you waking up the next day thinking, ‘Wait… did I dream that?’ And since people weren’t carrying 10 mega pixel wide angle camera phones in their pocket 10 years ago, there’s very little evidence online that it even took place.
But we’re pretty sure it did…
Words: Jennyfer J. Walker