Pete Wentz fights authority, but, well, you know. Pic by Jesse Reed, more below.
From up close — or rather, from a slight distance across Washington Square Park on a dreary but unseasonably warm Monday afternoon — the Fall Out Boy dudes all look like down-on-their-luck alt-rockers kicked out of Weezer for dressing too homely. (This is true even of Pete Wentz, who looks like he tried to cheer himself up after getting kicked out of Weezer by getting a haircut and buying expensive sunglasses.) Unfortunately, making juvenile attacks on their appearance is the only thing any of us get to do today: FOB was scheduled to play a “secret” show here at 3:30 sharp — they had a guy tuning up multiple acoustic guitars laid out on a picnic table and everything, as a small scrum of excitable young folks milled about nervously and stared at him — but this plan was evidently squashed by the authorities, who also milled around nervously/authoritatively.
So instead, we got a personal apology from Pete, speaking in a low, conversational, indoor voice to a reasonably large group of people gathered outside. “We’re not allowed to play,” he shrugged. Everyone squealed anyway. Then lead singer Pat Stump led a brief a capella sing-a-long of “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy,” his voice forceful and splendid, actually. (He didn’t even need AutoTune!) “If we do anything else right now we’ll be arrested,” Pete shrugged afterward, triggering the official high-five/iPhone picture-taking portion of the event, which climaxed when Pete held up his own phone to show us a picture of his son.
To recap: The media was alerted to come on down and take ostensibly professional pictures of a bunch of Fall Out Boy fans using their cell phones to take pictures of Pete Wentz’s cell phone, which had a picture of his son on it. A nice little postmodern möbius strip, that. “We didn’t get to play, but I still think this is pretty awesome,” Pat averred. He was overselling a bit, I think, but at least it was unseasonably warm.