It's been about five years now. Our relationship started out so strong and I thought you were the ones, the band that would make it big and would still deserve my respect. Over the past few years, you've taken me on a roller coaster ride that I can only call "complicated," so complicated in fact that I think you wrote the entire album Infinity On High about us. I don't want you to think this is over -- but I have to confess, I've been having my doubts.
I knew I was in love with you the moment I first listened to Take This to Your Grave. From the opening riff of "Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today" to the closing lyrics of "The Patron Saint of Liars and Fakes," you held my attention. You held it and you caressed it like a little chica-dee that had just hatched from a small emo shell, a tiny little teardrop tattooed on its little eye.
And when I first saw you live, it was a cold day in winter, right after my last final exam. You were playing with the likes of Fuel, and no one came to see you. I saw the frustration in Pete's eyes when his bass spontaneously broke and shattered on the ground after he slammed it in anger. I saw tiny little emo tear drops forming at the corner of Pete's eyeshadow. I remember the tight-knit little crowd, shouting out the lyrics and moshing amongst ourselves. Dammit Fall Out Boy, I remember hanging out with you after the show.
I remember the time when you blew the lid off of the Bottom Lounge (RIP), Joe jumping off walls, Pete hanging from the lights, screaming out the closing verse of Saturday. I remember the first big show you guys played, when you co-headlined and I knew you'd made it. Like I'd always said, huh? So what if the Chicago hardcore scene mocked you for selling out your roots; I knew you guys were having fun and that's really all that matters when it came to music.
I was there when you guys started a riot at Illinois State and the cops had to come to break up the show. I remember the words of the smiling girl as she was wheeled out of the auditorium on a gurney: "Totally f@ckin' worth it."
I remember the release and critical-acclaim of From Under the Cork Tree. You told me the truth, that the album was a musical progression, but for some reason I couldn't shake the feeling that you'd changed.
We saw each other on-and-off over that year, between intense of bouts of pain and joy. Suddenly, Pete started wearing an ungodly amount of eye makeup and hair gel, Joe starting smoking cigarettes, and Patrick changed his last name from "Stumpf" to "Stump." (Oh yes, Patrick, you thought no one noticed, but I assure you they did.) It became painfully clear that, even though you still called Chicago your home, you were slowly beginning the transition that all bands make to the West Coast, that unholiest of places.
Over the next several months, we began seeing less and less of each other. I was even considering making a clean break, but Infinity On High was released. I have to be honest -- I was teetering there for a moment, but you renewed my faith with that album. I still felt slightly unsettled, but at least I knew I wanted us to be together for a little longer at least.
But then I became sick of you again. Between Pete's relationship with Ashley Simpson (c'mon buddy, a comatose gorilla has more musical talent) and Patrick's countless guest appearances anywhere and everywhere, I wanted to cover my ears and scream. But I stuck with you because I made a commitment that I wanted...no, needed...to stick to. Why you ask? Maybe it was because I couldn't let go of how you made me feel in the beginning. Maybe it was to prove to myself that I was not a musical snob. Either way, something inside me feels like we've been together for all the wrong reasons.
Are you even listening to me? I thought maybe I was starting to get through to you, but I guess not. I just saw the old-timey graphic for your upcoming Folie a Deux, the accompanying press release, the video announcing the album where you stand at a podium and speak like you're announcing the Nobel Peace Prize, your "Big Brother" marketing campaign, etc. You've either finished another genius album or have put together the most pompous, pretentious collection of songs since...well, since Angels and Airwaves' latest recording. It doesn't matter though, because I'm done with the head games.
I just want you to know that I've found a younger band, a more polished version of your current selves. I'm of course speaking of Forever the Sickest Kids. Don't give me that look; you knew what was going on here. And while you'll still have a special place in my heart, you know that the upbeat tempo and flawless harmonies of "Hey Brittany" are impossible for me to stay away from. We've been seeing each other for about three months now.
You knew this would happen. You're in too deep now guys. Sure, I bet I'll tap my foot and maybe even sing along to the new album, but I want you to know that it will never be the same.
Thnks Fr Th Mmrs,
P.S. Is that Buster from Arrested Development in your video for "Beat It?"
P.P.S. Take off that jacket Pete. It's eighty degrees out and you look ridiculous.
"Stop burning bridges / and drive off of them / so I can forget about you."
- Patrick Stump(f?), "Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today"