Punk Goes Pop: The Unexpected Revival of the 00s

As  is the rule of every decade, what has once gone out of style is now the ruling trend. Back in the early years of the millenium, the rule of the Scene was strong, with kids in middle and high school devoting their lives to loving their favorite bands– this relationship can be comparable to the one you have with oxygen. Then, with the usual pomp and circumstance of middle-age burnout, these bands started to disappear: Fall Out Boy broke up, Panic! At the Disco faded out, and Paramore lost most of its original membership.

Then, something strange happened. It began in early 2013, when Fall Out Boy announced their reunion…or rather, they announced that they had never broken up in the first place. College kids across the nation simultaneously rejoiced, as the nostalgia of their middle school years was re-imagined in a new single with the appropriately Fall Out Boy-esque title, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark.” Patrick Stump’s years of working as a solo artist paid off, I can tell you that. American Beauty/American Psycho is en pointe– even if the lyrics involve the concept of marriage and long-term relationships. Marriage. In a Fall Out Boy song. Middle school me is appalled.

Paramore followed shortly, dropping its first full album in almost four years, the self-titled Paramore. After trickling singles for years, the band returned to its full glory, in spite of losing two of its original members, Josh and Zac Farro. Leading lady Hayley Williams remained at the top of her game, breaking out with group work, solo work, a Bilboard Music Trailblazer Award, and some of the most fantastic blue hair you will ever lay eyes on.

And then, to complete the golden trinity, Panic! At the Disco dropped its newest album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die, in its singular combination of dance-worthy music and edgy lyrics. They’ve got fans so enthusiastic they broke the floor at one of their concert venues. That’s right. You heard me.

Oh, also, Brendon Urie is married. That’s something middle-school-me still can’t picture. Adult-me is a tiny bit confused too. Bonus points: Pete Wentz and Patrick Stump were there too.

That’s not to say there weren’t any casualties. Gerard Way announced the fatality in early 2013– My Chemical Romance was no more. Ending a stereotypically angst-ridden (although impeccably written) letter, he consoled his fans, “My Chemical Romance is done. But it can never die. It is alive in me, in the guys, and it is alive inside all of you. I always knew that, and I think you did too. Because it is not a band- it is an idea.” Now he’s fronting a band called The Hormones, so stay tuned to see how that works out. Spencer Smith left Panic! At the Disco, so even that is up in the air. Don’t worry, though, because Brendon probably isn’t going anywhere.

Here’s the truth– from the conglomeration that is Fall Out Boy to the mere being of Brendon Urie– punk didn’t die. It just grew up.


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