clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fall Out Boy, Green Day, Weezer: At Wrigley, pop punk fans score a triple

All three bands deliver at Hella Mega Tour stop, reopening the ballpark to music and giving crowd a chance to cut loose and sing along.

Fall Out Boy preforms at Wrigley Field, during the Chicago stop for The Hella Mega Tour, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Fall Out Boy performs at Wrigley Field on Sunday night during the Chicago stop for The Hella Mega Tour.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Twenty years from now, we’ll still remember the concerts we went to BC and AD — right before COVID and after distancing. And among the population, there will be those lucky enough to say they made their re-entrance at the Hella Mega Tour, the triple headline extravaganza featuring Weezer, Fall Out Boy and Green Day that offered a strong lineage of singalong-ready pop punk and an invitation to let loose — no vax proof or test required — after 17 months of collectively holding our breath.

The sold-out fete was the first concert back at Wrigley Field since the summer of 2019, and the wait was well-invested, with the evening providing nearly 60 songs in 412 hours (in true punk rock efficiency) and what had to be the ballpark’s full pyro and firework budget for the season.

Weezer leader Rivers Cuomo sports a new look during the band’s Sunday set at Wrigley Field.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

After a brief performance by the tour’s special guest, West Coast ska outfit The Interrupters, Weezer took the stage. But this time around Rivers Cuomo didn’t so much look like Buddy Holly, as the band’s song goes, as he did “Wayne’s World” sidekick Garth Algar with a long, askew mullet, hornrims and Flying V guitar. While it would be nice to think it was a nod to the fictional Aurora-based cable access show, it’s really just a visual ruse to keep the band’s ironic streak going (see also a rousing performance of Weezer’s guiltless cover of Toto’s “Africa”). That’s the thing with Weezer, though, you just never know what to take with a grain of salt or if it’s all overseasoned on purpose.

Like their tour mates, the Weezer guys stuck to the same set list they’ve been delivering in most markets and focused heavily on star-wattage material including “Beverly Hills,” “Hash Pipe,” “Say It Ain’t So” and “Undone — The Sweater Song.” This time around the songs had some heavier riffs courtesy of Cuomo and Brian Bell. Maybe Weezer is hinting at going heavier on its upcoming material? Cuomo’s studded leather jacket, the massive amplifier wall of sound and some Van Halen intro music would suggest as much. But in true fashion, they’re intent to keep us guessing.

Fans outside Wrigley Field on Waveland Avenue watch as fireworks shoot into the sky during the Fall Out Boy performance.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Thankfully, Fall Out Boy rebounded from a COVID-19 scare that had the quartet pull out of the first couple stops of the tour, and the band (originally from Wilmette) was able to deliver a homecoming show worthy of the grandeur of the setting. Fall Out Boy brought along lavish stage sets, a bizarre “space opera” video montage that featured actor Ron Livingston and a barrage of fireworks and fireballs.

Fall Out Boy remains one of the few locally grown acts that have had the privilege to plug in on the grounds (in 2018 as well), and the musicians did so with aplomb. Wearing a Cubs jersey, octave-spanning singer Patrick Stump couldn’t erase the grin off his face as he led the band into a back-to-back crescendo of “The Phoenix” and “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” the latter of which elicited one of the bigger audience singalongs of the entire night.

Fall Out Boy’s fanbase is, in a word, solid, graduating the bandmates from VFW Halls to stadium tours nearly overnight, after speaking as much to a generation as their forefathers on this tour bill once did. “It’s mind-blowing to play Wrigley, especially with Weezer and Green Day. We grew up with those bands,” bassist Pete Wentz said before lauching into “Thanks fr th Mmrs,” reminding the young denizens in the audience to dream big.

Billie Joe Armstrong fronts Green Day at Wrigley Field on Sunday.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Green Day took a minute to encourage the new gen too, inviting a blue-haired young adult from the front row to come up on stage and play guitar on a cover of Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge.” It was one of many displays of camaraderie frontman Billie Joe Armstrong proffered during the set, also encouraging the audience to put their phones away early on. “We’ve been looking at our phones for a year, we need to take advantage of our time together,” he cautioned, though many in the crowd grabbed at them again to illuminate the field for pensive numbers like “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”

Green Day wasted no time launching into the set with instruments blazing on “American Idiot.” And like the famed Broadway musical of the same name, the set carried a theatrical undertone at times, full of character, a range of emotion and an incredibly tight production from the cast, also including longtime bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool as well as a touring ensemble. Though Green Day’s material can border on self-help garishness at times (“Pollyanna” and the expected set-ender “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”), the band mixed the set list up well with several mainstays including “She,” “Longview” and “Basketcase” that were in line with the biggest takeaways from the night — that we all needed a heavy dose of nostalgia and good old-fashioned punk-rock release.

Selena Fragassi is a local freelance writer.

Here are the set lists from Sunday night’s concert at Wrigley Field:

Weezer

“Hash Pipe”

“All The Good Ones”

“Beverly Hills”

“The End of the Game”

“My Name Is Jonas”

“Pork and Beans”

“Feels Like Summer”

“All My Favorite Songs”

“Undone — The Sweater Song”

“Surf Wax America”

“El Scorcho”

“Island in the Sun”

“Africa” (Toto cover)

“California Snow”

“Say It Ain’t So”

“Buddy Holly”

Fans sit in the upper deck of Wrigley Field near right field, waiting for Weezer to preform, during the Chicago stop for The Hella Mega Tour, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Fans sit in the upper deck of Wrigley Field near right field, waiting for Weezer to perform Sunday, during the Chicago stop for The Hella Mega Tour.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Fall Out Boy

“The Phoenix”

“Sugar, We’re Going Down”

“Irresistible”

“Uma Thurman”

“Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy”

“Save Rock and Roll”

“The Last of the Real Ones”

“Dance, Dance”

“A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me”

“This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race”

“My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)”

“I Don’t Care”

“Thnks fr th Mmrs”

“Centuries”

“Saturday”

Fans sing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” right before Green Day performs Sunday at Wrigley Field,
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Green Day

“American Idiot”

“Holiday”

“Know Your Enemy”

“Pollyanna”

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams”

“Longview”

“Welcome to Paradise”

“Hitchin’ a Ride”

“Rock and Roll All Nite” (Kiss cover)

“Brain Stew”

“St. Jimmy”

“When I Come Around”

“21 Guns”

“Minority”

“Knowledge” (Operation Ivy cover)

“Basket Case”

“She”

“Wake Me Up When September Ends”

“Still Breathing”

“Jesus of Suburbia”

“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”