NEW YORK — The intention was good ... the execution, well, not so much.
On Monday (December 15), the day before their [article id="1596882"]Folie à Deux[/article] album arrives in stores, [artist id="1235716"]Fall Out Boy[/artist] had planned on staging an impromptu concert in New York's Washington Square Park. The only problem? They didn't bother to obtain a permit to do so, which drew the ire of New York's finest.
So, while a crowd of hoodie-clad FOB fanatics — who had learned about the gig just the night before on Pete Wentz's blog — and a throng of rather confused onlookers milled about (not to mention [artist id="2402281"]Cobra Starship's[/artist] Gabe Saporta and Alex Suarez), the band and their management haggled with the NYPD about allowing the show to go on. In the end, they were told that picking up any instruments would earn them a complimentary trip to the slammer, so they did the next best thing: They led the audience in a sing-along.
"This isn't looking good," Wentz told frontman Patrick Stump. "But let's try to do it anyway."
So, crowded against a banister, with the park's famous arch and fountain just off in the distance, they launched into a version of "Grand Theft Autumn/ Where Is Your Boy," from 2003's Take This to Your Grave. Since they couldn't actually touch their instruments, Wentz and epically 'fro-ed axe-man Joe Trohman played air guitar (drummer Andy Hurley pounded on his knees), while Stump sung loudly, getting plenty of hope from the throngs of fans surrounding them.
Then — with a shouted apology from Stump — the performance was over, and as the assembled members of the NYPD looked on impatiently, FOB were packed into a waiting van and hustled away. And as they left the park, they had a quick second to reflect on the gig that wasn't.
"I'm kind of bummed by all that, to be honest. That was going to be awesome," Stump said. "Those cops back there — and I have no problem with the cops, trust me — but those cops were like the Grinch. They just took all the presents."
"We wanted to do something free and really spontaneous in the same park where, like, Bob Dylan and all these folk singers used to perform in the '60s. You know, with the same spirit," Wentz added. "And that — no one was going to get hurt, it was just fans — that was supposed to be like that. But in the '60s, they used to beat up folk singers, so, you know, at least no one got punched."
The Washington Square show was supposed to be the latest in an ongoing string of rather, uh, non-traditional events FOB have launched in promotion of Folie, including a [article id="1593226"]massive viral campaign[/article] and Wentz dressing up as a donut deliveryman handing out golden tickets. And just because the gig didn't go off according to plan, Wentz wasn't discouraged. If anything, the whole incident left him determined.
"Basically, that just makes me want to do something even bigger, and I'm going to," he added. "I mean, I did a cover story with Out magazine, so part of me wants to spend a night in the clink."