Review: The Boys of Zummer at First Niagara
The Boys of Zummer tour kicked off with a young pop singer called Max Gibberish, who opened up the set with three songs as he and his guitarist drew the crowd in and got them hyped up to get the evening rolling.
Following Max Gibberish is the Long Island alternative group Hoodie Allen. Their mix of Pop-Rock with DJ Hip-Hop blends together as they set the stage for the rapper Wiz Khalifa and the closing Pop-Rock act Fall Out Boy. Hoodie closes their set, as the audience began to pack into the Pavilion and the lawn was filled with people covering every blade of grass. The smoke and fog machines went up behind a large black curtain. A remix of “Duel of Fates” from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace played over the loud speakers. People erupted into a roar.
The Pittsburgh local opened with a vibrant array of colors from a palette of songs all his own, with funky, radio beats such as “Roll Up,” “No Sleep,” “Work Hard, Play Hard” and “We Dem Boyz.”
Throughout each part of the show, there are pre-recorded videos of Wiz interacting with others, treated much like a hybrid Live/Music-Video style of show.
Near the end of the set is when the show picked up, as Wiz rusheds off the stage and ran through the aisles of screaming fans, where he rushed to the lawn and was ensconced in a circle of waving arms and devoted listeners.
He closed the set with “See You Again,” a song that gained him the top of the Pop charts for 11 weeks, where behind him a video of ocean waves mellowed out the mood of the audience as he exited the stage with the perfect line “I’ll see you again Pittsburgh.”
After being out of the spotlight since 2009, the lights went down and the crowd went wild, erupting in thunder and wails. And that’s when the foursome took the stage.
The Chicago band Fall Out Boy, touring in support for their new album “American Beauty/American Psycho,” got right to the music with the opener “Sugar, We’re Goin Down,” from 2005, and then plowed through their brash, rock/pop-punk set-list of songs. The rhythm section was up in the mix, turning them into a thundering cacophony of bass and drums.
The urgent “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race,” with an arsenal of green lasers, highlighted the early half of the set. Singer Patrick Stump, Wentz and guitarist Joe Trohman hit that same b-stage for acoustic takes of “Immortals” and “Young Volcanoes” that were no less shrill.
Late in the set, Wiz Khalifa made another appearance, as he rolled out on a skateboard for his verse on “Uma Thurman,” and Fall Out Boy closed-out with “Centuries” and “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up).”
The two proved that audiences with varied tastes in music can come together and enjoy the eclectic ideas that work and feed off each other for a diverse and creative display of music, as the audience devotion for these artists stayed strong and the blast ringing through the First Niagara Pavilion was not the bass-drum, but the roar of excitement from fans.
Review by Aaron Dalzell for Pennsylvania Bridges