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A concert from my dreams

concert - Hannah Anderson

Illustration: Hannah Anderson/The Olaf Messenger

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m a music person. I spent my high school years going to whatever little local shows I could find and even writing some songs of my own. Yet, despite the amount of obscure punk and metal bands I’ve seen around the cities, I’ve never truly grown out of my middle school emo phase. Easily, the best concert I’ve ever attended was Fall Out Boy.


Picture this: it’s a hot evening in the middle of July, you’re sitting on a grassy hill, surrounded by 30 other people who claim to be as obsessed with Fall Out Boy as you. The opening band has gone backstage, and it’s nearly time for them — the band you’ve loved since the age of ten — to come on. The sky is almost completely dark, ready for the performance to light the whole place up. You’re also constantly refreshing your weather app, as there appear to be thunderstorms and tornadoes nearby. They won’t hit you, though… right?


Wrong. Five minutes before Fall Out Boy was scheduled to start, we were met with an

announcement that the show was indefinitely postponed due to severe weather, and were forced to evacuate the venue. While at least half of the attendees simply got in their cars and drove home, I spent the next hour or two crying under the shelter of a nearby drive-thru, absolutely torn to pieces over the fact that I probably wouldn’t be seeing one of my favorite bands live. 

Somehow, all my tears paid off. The gates to the venue opened again around 11:00 p.m. Everyone else who stuck around ran back, including me, with an amount of adrenaline I’ve never before felt in my life.


Unsurprisingly, getting back into the venue wasn’t as smooth as I would have hoped, but when I was finally in, I had a much better place to stand than before since half the crowd left.

This was when things started working out well. The experience to follow was a blur of yelling

every word to songs I’ve known and loved for years.


Considering this was a massive outdoor show and it was well past the town’s curfew, more than half of their set was cut off. I can’t lie, that part sucked. They had to get rid of the piano medley that I’d been looking forward to for ages, skip over a few deep cuts that they’d usually rotate between shows, and played “Centuries” and “Uma Thurman” instead. However, the one thing they didn’t cut was the “Magic 8 Ball” song — which is essentially their equivalent of a “surprise song.” And, behold! It was “Fame < Infamy” — not only my favorite song of theirs but also one that they’d never played live in the sixteen years it’s been released. To further emphasize how much I adore this song, I quite literally slept with a note containing the words “Fame < Infamy live debut 07/13/23” under my pillow the night before. I love this song an unhealthy amount. Anyways, I rode that high until the show ended shortly before midnight.


Truly, seeing my favorite band under these conditions is something I could go on and on about for hours. But, overwhelmingly, it was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t have wanted any other way. So, I’ll conclude with this: even if you’re in a situation where everything seems to be going wrong, you might get the “Fame < Infamy” live debut out of it. Embrace that.

Ann McMullen
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