97X Next Big Thing reels in fans for Fall Out Boy, New Politics, more

Hannah Reasor, Staff Writer

With the line-up filled with bands who played the night before, the 97X Next Big Thing at Vinoy Park could be imagined as tired out members of bands playing songs, but when each band hit the stage they were playing live, energetic, and for the present.

With Young Rising Sons playing the first 35 minutes, there was an evident atmosphere that seemed to thresh, not only between the band and their music, but with the crowd as well. Their performance kicked off the 97X Next Big Thing festival right into first gear and when they ended with their most-popular song “High,” you could see people fully pumped for the rest of the festival.

The band that thrust the concert into drive was New Politics. Lead singer David Boyd, was ready to grind as hard as he could on the clutch. Opening up with one of their more popular songs, “Tonight You’re Perfect,” New Politics had the crowd singing along in less than a minute.

The band covered Beastie Boys’ song, “Sabotage,” which instantly brought the performance into a raw interaction with the audience. Thus, Boyd laid out his heart, soul, and shirtless chest for the crowd (even sharing his water bottle by throwing it up into the masses), with his and the band’s gritty performance.

After New Politics, the audience lost control with the next performance. Dirty Heads, a California based rock-rap group, brought the show to a surprising speed. It seemed as if their 45 minute performance was one continuous song that seemed to last for hours. Their explosive bass pierced the ears of all listening, and it seemed as though their sound guy was on vacation. Once their set was over, the crowd-surfers were still on surge and wouldn’t end for the rest of the night.

The band of the night, however, was the last band to play and possibly one of the biggest bands to ever perform at the 97X Next Big Thing: Fall Out Boy. Their set list consisted of newer songs such as “Centuries,” and the song written for Big Hero 6, “Immortals,” and older songs such as “I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me,” and their set-closing goodie, “Saturday.”

The music was filled with all the wonderful things Fall Out Boy has to offer, such as the crowd interaction between lead singer Patrick Stump, and bassist Pete Wentz. Having seen them before, Wentz always gives a speech about how he appreciates all the fans of their band which always gives extra spirit to the crowd, even to people who aren’t fans. Wentz even addressed issues in the world today almost allowing us to personally connect with him.

Their sound was pure and golden and seemed to fill up the sky all the way out beyond the almost 10,000 people in the crowd. Guitar and voice mixed almost perfectly together, especially with guitarist Joe Trohman’s guitar riffs. The drums, played by Andy Hurley, really drove the music to a point with no return.

The experience of the 15th anniversary of the 97X Next Big Thing was gritty and full of powerful performances from so many different bands with so many different genres. Something that wouldn’t seem to mix well, but did, and Next Big Thing can be proud of that for years to come.

Maybe next year they’ll pull in a line up just as good as this, if not better.