Nothing beats an evening of punk rock under the stars.
The Monumentour made its way to Holmdel, N.J., where dual-headliners Paramore and Fall Out Boy took the stage at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Saturday, June 28.
New Politics, featuring Lolo, opened with new hits like “Harlem” and “Give Me Hope” before presenting the headliners. Both bands were recently signed with DCD2 Records, headed by Fall Out Boy’s bassist Pete Wentz.
Paramore opened as the sun began to set with the latest radio hit “Still Into You.”
Lead singer Hayley Williams strutted around stage clad in a neon ensemble, with electric turquoise eye shadow to match her latest hair color.
The band, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, played a balanced medley of songs from all four albums.
Throughout the show, the crowd went absolutely wild and held up homemade signs for both of the bands. Of the ones that made it on-camera, the most memorable read: “We missed graduation for this.”
During Paramore’s hit single “Misery Business,” the band had a surprise in store for one outstanding audience member.
“We’ve been scanning the crowd to see who has what it takes, to see who knew every word to every song,” said Williams. “Where is the man with the Blue Mohawk?”
Sure enough, the cameras landed on a young man with a mohawk dyed the same shade of turquoise as Williams’s hair. The look of utter shock plastered to his face was quickly replaced by an ear-to-ear smile as he was invited on-stage.
His name was Phil, and he had taken a plane from the U.K. to see Paramore play live for the sixth time this tour.
As a reward for his dedication, Phil was granted a golden microphone, along with the chance to sing a solo in front of 17,500 other fans.
Paramore ended with “Ain’t It Fun,” a song with a bridge that may hit home for many college students: “Don’t go crying to your mama / ‘cause you’re on your own in the real world.”
Finally, the highlight of the night (and perhaps of my entire summer), began when the lights fell and the sounds of an orchestra erupted from the stage.
“Put on your war paint,” demanded Fall Out Boy vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump, accompanied by Wentz on bass, guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley in their opening song “The Phoenix.”
Songs from the band’s fifth studio album “Save Rock and Roll” largely dominated the evening, but I was also able to enjoy a few songs from my favorite album, “From Under the Cork Tree,” released in 2005 (and no, I didn’t cry when they performed “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down.” I just had something in my eyes).
During “Just One Yesterday,” Wentz asked audience members in the back to turn their cell phone flashlights on and the lawn lit up like the night sky.
For the double encore, the band threw it back to 2007 with one of their biggest songs “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs,” proceeded by “Saturday.”
Ultimately, I went home with mascara on my cheeks, (permanently?) damaged vocal chords and memories I know I’ll savor for a long time.
My middle-school self would be proud.
*This story was originally published in The Signal.