Fall Out Boy And Paul Wall Are All Smiles As Trek Finally Gets Under Way

'It's our biggest show ever,' bassist Pete Wentz says of Honda Civic Tour, which kicked off Friday.

Fall Out Boy’s headlining stint on this year’s Honda Civic Tour had a rough beginning last month. In fact, the trek didn’t start at all. In April, two weeks before they were slated to hit the road, FOB announced that the 43-city North American run would be delayed a month due to “health concerns.”

Now the tour is finally under way — it began Friday in Denver (see “Pete Wentz On Fall Out Boy Tour Delay: ‘It’s A Health Issue, But Nothing Serious‘ “ ). But at the kickoff, it was another artist on the bill who was drawing a lot of the attention: Paul Wall.

The People’s Champ is the only hip-hop artist on a bill that also features (+44), the Academy Is … and Cobra Starship. Other than a few short promotional club jaunts he’s endured, the Honda Civic Tour is Wall’s first-ever large-scale tour.

“I’m real excited, man. I couldn’t wait to hit the road,” Paul Wall told MTV News, hanging out on his tour bus in Denver. “I got nervous when it got pushed back because I was really anxious to get onstage. But I was kinda happy too, because the first date of the tour was [supposed to be] my son’s first birthday. I told my wife, ‘He’s gonna be on the tour bus with Fall Out Boy and (+44) and all these great bands — it’s gonna be the greatest birthday party ever!’ She was a little upset. But it’s all good now.”

(Watch Paul Wall chill backstage with Fall Out Boy and (+44), get his take on one-size-fits-all grills and more, right here.)

As a matter of fact, Fall Out Boy personally invited Paul Wall on the tour. “We were playing a radio-station festival and he was on the bill,” FOB singer Patrick Stump explained backstage. “He was easily the heaviest-sounding of all the artists that performed that day, even the rock artists. So when it came time to put together this tour, we knew it would fit.”

(+44)’s Mark Hoppus is also a big fan of the Houston rapper. “He’s just a good friend and a positive guy,” he said. “Being on tour can get grinding and long, and you can get homesick. Paul’s the kind of guy that’s just going to be in a great mood all the time. Every time I see him, he’s always got a smile on his face. … It’s going to be good to be around that kind of energy — he’s the People’s Champ.”

The same could be said of Fall Out Boy, who are eager to play songs from their recent album, Infinity on High, to packed houses for the next seven weeks (see “Fall Out Boy Take It To The Top, Score First Billboard #1″ ).

“It’s our biggest show ever,” Pete Wentz said, in between goofing off with a basketball and the MTV microphone. “I’m usually not very OCD about a lot of things that go on with our band, but with mapping out this show, I was. I think there’s a lot of directions we could’ve gone in and we decided to go in the direction of the biggest ‘rock’ show we could do.”

Wentz wouldn’t give up many details about what FOB have in store but did admit that they’ve been dabbling with a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” He also said some cities might witness a surprise side-stage all-star mash-up featuring all the artists on the bill.

“We’ve been working really hard to make this show look and sound the best it’s ever been for Fall Out Boy,” Stump added. “There’s so many things going on with this show and so much could go wrong — it is a Fall Out Boy show, after all. But if even two of these things go right on any night, it’ll be a really entertaining show.”

Don’t believe him? See for yourself on the remaining Honda Civic Tour dates:

» 5/16 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
» 5/17 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Bradley Center
» 5/18 – St Louis, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
» 5/20 – Cleveland, OH @ Blossom Music Center
» 5/21 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
» 5/22 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Post-Gazette Pavilion
» 5/23 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
» 5/25 – Montreal, QC @ The Bell Center
» 5/26 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Amphitheater
» 5/27 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Center
» 5/28 – Buffalo, NY @ Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center
» 5/30 – Saratoga, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
» 5/31 – Mansfield, MA @ Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts
» 6/1 – Camden, NJ @ Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
» 6/2 – Hartford, CT @ New England Dodge Music Center
» 6/4 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
» 6/5 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
» 6/6 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
» 6/8 – Indianapolis, IN @ Verizon Wireless Music Center
» 6/9 – Chicago, IL @ Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island
» 6/10 – Chicago, IL @ Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island
» 6/11 – Chicago, IL @ Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island
» 6/13 – Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
» 6/14 – Atlanta, GA @ Hi Fi Buys Amphitheater
» 6/15 – Tampa, FL @ Ford Amphitheater
» 6/16 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Sound Advice Amphitheater
» 6/18 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
» 6/19 – Dallas, TX @ Smirnoff Music Centre
» 6/20 – San Antonio, TX @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
» 6/22 – Phoenix, AZ @ Cricket Pavilion
» 6/23 – Inglewood, CA @ The Forum
» 6/24 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Pearl
» 6/25 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The E Center
» 6/27 – Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome
» 6/28 – Vancouver, BC @ Pacific Coast Coliseum
» 6/29 – Portland, OR @ The Rose Garden Arena
» 6/30 – Concord, CA @ Sleep Train Pavilion
» 7/1 – Chula Vista, CA @ Coors Amphitheatre
» 7/2 – Anaheim, CA @ The Honda Center