When: Sat., July 18, 7 p.m. 2015
BOYS OF ZUMMER: WIZ KHALIFA AND FALL OUT BOY
SATURDAY, JULY 18
WALNUT CREEK AMPHITHEATRE, RALEIGH—During the last five years, the rapper Wiz Khalifa has topped the pop charts twice. He's managed to do so on both occasions with what are, essentially, novelty songs. In 2011, after the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV, his delirious pro-Steel City anthem "Black And Yellow" hit the No. 1 spot. Earlier this year, his Furious 7-timed eulogy for Paul Walker, the syrupy "See You Again," hip-checked "Uptown Funk" off the pole position. It's held its place long enough to tie Eminem and the Black Eyed Peas for the longest Hot 100 reign by any rap song.
"Unlikely song becomes artist's biggest song" is a common pop story, of course; just ask any of the hard-rock bands whose drippy power ballads still get play on Delilah. But such mainstream appeal certainly helped make the pairing of Wiz and Fall Out Boy, the Chicago quartet who have morphed from mall-emo poster boys to pop-rock megaforce, make sense for this summer's Boys Of Zummer tour.
Fall Out Boy is more musically omnivorous than most listeners may admit. Patrick Stump's growls and howls have added more and more soul over the years, and one track from this year's American Beauty/American Psycho samples the Denver electronic artist Son Lux. And the way in which their songs burst at the seams with big, propulsive hooks has caused them to fully cross over into the pop realm, populating the same stations that play "Again" twice an hour.
Perhaps summer treks like Boys Of Zummer—which lightly mixes genres that have been brought together in the Top-40 salad spinner, anyway—will be the norm for pop's bigger names in the future. Consider it a callback to summers of yore, when the self-consciously diverse Lollapalooza festival traveled from city to city instead of setting up shop in one central location. With Hoodie Allen. 7 p.m., $27–$69.75, 3801 Rock Quarry Rd., Raleigh, 919-719-5500, www.livenation.com/venues/14476/walnut-creek-amphitheatre. —Maura Johnston