Concert Reviews

Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa Made an Oddly Perfect Pairing at Gexa

Fall Out Boy
With Wiz Khalifa and Hoodie Allen
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Saturday, July 25, 2015

Talk about an unusual pairing. Or was it? Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa's joint stop at Gexa Energy Pavilion on Saturday night for their Boys of Zummer tour followed a long tradition of hip-hop and rock pairings. (Think Run DMC and Aerosmith, Jay Z and Linkin Park, Public Enemy and Anthrax.) Together, they made for a great midsummer concert.

Oh, and weed. There was so much weed.

That was mostly to do with the fans of Khalifa, who played in the middle of the evening after Hoodie Allen kicked things off. The smell of marijuana was palpable all the way out in the parking lot. DJ Drama made at least 10 weed references in under five minutes at one point before Khalifa took stage.

"Ass Drop" began as Cameron Jibril Thomaz, better known as Wiz Khalifa, appeared on the stage. Despite the Pittsburgh rapper's past — he's been arrested more than 21 times on marijuana charges — Khalifa delivered a very positive message. "Make some noise if you believe in yourself!" Khalifa encouraged the crowd.

After a few songs, there was a short video clip and Khalfia briefly ran off stage. He returned with, what else, a blunt and encouraged the crowd to smoke one with him as "Paperbond" started. “Make noise if you do what you want,” Khalifa continued. (There was a lot of noise made during Khalifa's set, in case you hadn't already guessed.) Of course, the crowd went berserk.
The people watching was off the charts at this show. There was a dad a few rows in front of me wearing a Fall Out Boy shirt with his teenaged son in tow. The dad was so into the whole thing. When Khalifa said, “Put your hands up!” this obedient father put his damn hands in the air, swaying them ever so offbeat. At one point during Khalifa’s set, the dad pointed out the haziness on the horizon to his son. The look on his face made clear that he was, uh, definitely feeling it.

Rappers Chevy Woods and Ty Dolla Sign made a surprise appearance at one point, with Woods asking, “How are we doing tonight, HOUSTON?” I think he was feeling it, too. It’s OK, Chevy. After Mr. Woods' mess-up, the kid sitting next to me asked if I had any papers. Typical Khalifa show, am I right? For good measure, two enormous inflatable joints were thrown into the crowd during the encore of "Young, Wild and Free."

After Khalifa’s set ended, the haze lifted and the crowd transitioned. Empty seats were quickly filled with awkward teens and pre-teens, and drunk people my age who were there for the nostalgia factor.

Fall Out Boy began with "Sugar We're Going Down" and everything got about 10 times louder. No one was smoking pot anymore; there were more visible parents and more screaming teens.
"Irresistible" was the second song. When Stump blared out, “You’re second hand smoke/Second hand smoke/I breathe you in, but honey/I don’t know what you’re doing to me.” It was hard not to giggle at the irony.

Save for "A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me," Fall Out Boy went light on their older material. But in true pop-punk fashion, they compared themselves to an actual punk band and played "Alone Together" to a slide show of images of punk-dressed kids kissing and holding hands. And during "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race," the crowd video panned to a girl at the front of the stage who was crying with excitement.

Toward the end of the show, Pete Wentz, Patrick Stump and Joe Trohman went to a smaller stage closer to the lawn seats and played a small acoustic set. During the time it took them to get back to the main stage, there was a particularly bizarre, several-minute-long drum solo by Andy Hurly, with samples including Kanye West’s "Mercy" and Yo Gotti’s "Trap Queen." 
Wentz, a recovered drug addict, gave a heartfelt speech about what it's like to be an outsider. “At shows like this, I look out and I see what could be described as outsiders,” he said. Khalifa had chanted earlier about positivity and Wentz mirrored his excitement with continued encouragement. All in all, it was a feel-good night, for the teenagers and the aging teenagers among us. Then again, most of the crowd was probably feeling pretty good well before Fall Out Boy ever hit the stage.