To promote their new LP, Infinity on High, Fall Out Boy spent Tuesday undertaking a cross-country, three-cities-in-one-day tour. MTV and some lucky contest winners were along for the ride, flying with the bandmembers in their charter jet from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, sending updates throughout the day. Catch all 17 hours' worth of coverage right here!
New York, 11:39 a.m. ET
Say what you will about Fall Out Boy, the dudes are punctual.
Facing a day during which they'll play three shows in three cities across the country over the course of 19 hours, the band arrived at the "TRL" studios in Times Square bright-eyed and relatively bushy-tailed at the very un-rocking hour of 8 a.m., ready to kick off the festivities with a ripping performance in front of a throng of extremely vocal fans — many of whom had lined up at 6 a.m., braving subzero wind chills to secure a spot in the studio.
"I'm not tired yet," FOB frontman Patrick Stump insisted. "It's all about the body-clock management."
Body-clock management and a saint-like patience — because with an endeavor this massive, there are bound to be some screw-ups. The band had to play "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" twice, apparently because the crowd wasn't amped enough the first time (perhaps the fans were still thawing out). And backstage, surrounded by a sea of cameras — and their pals in Gym Class Heroes — FOB fought off sleep with smirks.
"I had a really long night last night," bassist Pete Wentz laughed. "So this morning is really just a continuation of last night." But the effects of sleep deprivation weren't apparent in their performance, which rippled with the band's punky enthusiasm. Fall Out Boy pounded through "Arms Race," Stump's voice filled with an R&B vibrato, and played a note-perfect (and downright pretty in places) version of "Thriller," the opening track on the just-released Infinity on High, which is the reason for all this Infinity Flight 206 madness in the first place.
With the "TRL" studios sufficiently rocked, FOB bundled up — Wentz in a Chicago Bears jacket, of all things — and headed out into a waiting caravan, bound for a private jet on the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport. Their next stop is their Chicago hometown, where the crowds will no doubt be super-psyched, and unfortunately weather reports are calling for snow. And after that, a much longer flight to Los Angeles for the final gig, around a dozen hours from now.
Hopefully body-clock management will be enough to carry them through. We suspect it will.
Chicago, 3:48 p.m. CT
Scenes from an airport terminal: Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman eating a foil-wrapped breakfast sandwich, frontman Patrick Stump buying a can of iced tea from a vending machine (with his own money!), personal-security dude Charlie casually leafing through a copy of Hustler and the band drawing sideways glances — and a thorough wanding — from airport security. Such is the glamorous life of a rock band in the midst of a cross-continental three-cities-in-one-day marathon.
If Fall Out Boy left the "TRL" studios earlier today with a roar, they headed for Chicago with a whimper, running behind schedule thanks to some particularly tight security and, well, we're not exactly sure what.
Regardless, when the band, staff, contest winners and various hangers-on finally did manage to cross the freezing tarmac at LaGuardia Airport and board Infinity Flight 206 — which is really just a clever name for "Boeing 737 with green racing stripe painted on the side" — things were running behind schedule ... and everyone was a little bit delirious.
Which is probably why as soon as the plane left the ground, just two hours and three minutes away from Chicago, its passengers chose one of two activities: sleeping or screwing around.
For Fall Out, it was the former, as they pulled their hoodies tight and slapped on headphones or broke out laptops while sprawling out on the plane's plush seats. Luckily, roadie/ band punching-bag Dirty was there to pick up the slack, sprinting up and down the aisle, crushing cans of beer and showing off his rather, uh, ample number of questionable tattoos to a pair of somewhat bewildered contest winners.
Meanwhile, over Dirty's din, the pilot tried to make some relatively ominous-sounding announcements about landing at Chicago's O'Hare Airport (something about snow), which everyone on the plane greeted with howls of glee and a hail of paper airplanes.
And with that, Flight 206 began its descent through the thick cloud cover, shook a little and touched down on the snowy tarmac. The bandmembers were packed into a big white bus and whisked off to the House of Blues, where a pumped-up crowd awaits to welcome the boys home.
After that, they'll head to Los Angeles — and MTV News will be along for the ride.
Chicago, 5:55 p.m. CT
Fall Out Boy demanded their Infinity Flight 206 touch down in their hometown of Chicago (original plans had Dallas as the second stop) and, well, they got what they requested ... for better or worse.
Snowy conditions caused even more delays, and the band didn't even arrive at the House of Blues until five minutes before its set was scheduled to end. (The bandmembers passed the time in traffic debating the merits of Audioslave and Soundgarden versus Rage Against the Machine.) But as soon as they strode onstage, it was clear why they so wanted to play a homecoming show.
The crowd — some of which had been waiting in the snow for upward of 10 hours to get in — greeted them with ear-shattering screams, drowning out Stump's vocals throughout.
FOB played a set heavily loaded with older numbers — "Grand Theft Autumn/ Where Is Your Boy," "Saturday," "Sugar We're Goin Down" — and only touched a handful of selections from the just-released Infinity on High. And though they were running behind, they still managed to blow through their entire set (and get a token Chicagoland appearance from the Academy Is ...' ubiquitous singer, William Beckett). And then, at set's end, with an apology from Wentz, they were off — back into the snow and bound for Los Angeles ... where another show (and then some hotel beds) await. Rest? Who needs it?
Los Angeles, 9:30 p.m. PT
At the time of this writing, Infinity Flight 206 is streaking across the night sky, 30-something-thousand feet in the air, halfway between Chicago and Los Angeles. Trohman sits in the seat next to me, shredding on a guitar (he's working on note-perfect renditions of AC/DC's "Back in Black," Metallica's "One" and, uh, Steely Dan's "Reeling in the Years"), discussing some of his current faves (Regina Spektor, Mastodon) and expounding the virtues of high-fashion clothiers.
Much of the cabin is dark, most of the passengers silent, and even the high-stakes poker game across the aisle — led by a shirtless Dirty, of course — has broken up.
A few hours ago, Trohman and Wentz sat down with John Norris for a lengthy chat about Infinity on High, one that seems to have left the guitarist wired and the bass player wiped.
It's already been a 15-hour marathon across the continent, one that has — at times — seemed a bit like a slog. But now, in the inky blackness, with Trohman wheedling away right next to me, Flight 206 begins to make its descent into L.A., where we'll finally (hopefully) encounter double-digit temperatures and move one step closer to wrapping what has truly been an epic day.
It may be dark right now, but there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Los Angeles, 11:38 p.m. PT
Fall Out Boy launched their Infinity Flight 206 tour among the skyscrapers of New York and wrapped things up surrounded by the concrete towers of Los Angeles. In between, over the course of 17 hours spent in alternately snowy, frigid and slightly temperate weather, they flew nearly 3,000 miles, played shows in three cities and gave new meaning to the term "in-flight entertainment" (well, mainly Dirty did that).
It all came to an end with a rooftop gig at the Pacific Stock Exchange building in downtown L.A. as the band filled the night sky with searing takes on songs old and new. Taking the stage to — strangely — the strains of Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line," Fall Out Boy shook off the cross-continental cobwebs and launched headlong into "Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued." They didn't let up from there, except for some rather pesky technical difficulties (Wentz's bass conked out during "Sugar," forcing him to exit stage right.)
Still, they screamed and flailed ahead bravely, battling sleep deprivation and delivering a thunderous set. Stump's voice was as strong as it was in NYC, Trohman's ax work was razor-sharp, and drummer Andy Hurley — so silent throughout much of the day — pounded away with controlled precision.
And then, after 45 minutes, as the closing strains of "Saturday" floated through the evening sky, it was all over. The bandmembers departed into the night, a bit blurry-eyed, a bit sweaty, but no doubt incredibly proud of everything they accomplished: a new album, a continent-spanning series of live gigs and three cities' worth of thoroughly rocked crowds — not bad for one (really long) day's work.
(For more on FOB's Infinity Flight 206, see "Fall Out Boy Aim High With Multi-City, Three-Gigs-In-A-Day Tour.")
Fall Out Boy's epic Infinity Flight 206 has landed! Check out behind-the-scenes updates from their three-cities-in-one-day marathon and see the band talk all about its historic trek Wednesday (February 7) on MTV News RAW. For videos, news and everything else Fall Out Boy, head over to FallOutBoy.MTV.com.
[This story was originally published at 12:10 pm E.T. on 2.6.2007]