"The Boys of Zummer Tour" -- featuring rockers Fall Out Boy and rapper Wiz Khalifa, along with opener Long Island rapper Hoodie Allen -- would have been considered crazy a decade ago.
The idea of acts from two different genres, with ostensibly two different fan bases, filling Nikon at Jones Beach Theater would probably have been laughed off. After all, looking at this year's schedule, there isn't another package tour that stretches boundaries as much.
Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz says the time has come. "I think people are willing to give other kinds of music a shot now," Wentz said on a recent conference call. "You might not show up being a fan of somebody, but you might get won over, which is pretty cool, you know. I know for sure when I went to shows, maybe like 15 years ago, there was a lot less of that. I kind of wish I'd been able to go to a show where there'd be like rap and rock and that kind of stuff."Reader photosYour summer concert photosPhotosJones Beach lineup: Kevin Hart, more
As one of the few true rock bands that can currently muscle its new singles onto pop radio, Fall Out Boy takes its responsibility seriously to maintain that position for its fans.
"It's hard to go out there and . . . play these amphitheaters and arenas and then also have songs that are currently played on current radio, you know," Wentz says. "But I think more than anything, one of the things that we think is interesting or are out to prove is that genres just matter a lot less now. Like, Wiz is a rock star. You know what I'm saying? People love songs. I think the same people that love 'See You Again' would love 'Centuries,' you know? I think that's really important to us.
"I think that any responsibility we feel is to the kids out in the crowd because there's going to be some kid out in the crowd who's going to be the next Fall Out Boy or Wiz or Skrillex or whatever," he adds. "I feel a responsibility towards those kids, you know, that they get to take in a cool rock show."
Wentz says that the band ended up choosing Hoodie Allen for the tour after the Long Island rapper tweeted him and said he wanted to do it.
"I checked him out," he says. "And I was like it's cool -- I like the way he interacts with his fans, and he seemed to have this genuine kind of interaction, an authentic fan-base, you know, which is really cool."
Can Wentz reveal any surprises Allen has planned?
"I feel like Hoodie has something special planned, kind of on every date, it seems like," Wentz says, "so I would assume he would have something special planned for the hometown show."
WHO Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh
INFO $26.75-$69.75; 516-221-1000, livenation.com
'SEE YOU AGAIN'
Wiz Khalifa, on how he came up with "See You Again," his chart-topping hit with Charlie Puth for the "Furious 7" soundtrack:
"When it comes to the music, I let everything flow and happen naturally. . . . They called me because I was on the 'Fast ... Furious 6,' and that song did really well. I think they were just interested in trying to recreate. They wanted to do something to keep me as a part of the franchise, which I felt really happy about. I think it was just the energy and the love from the people and the fans, especially with his legacy."