Forget what you know about Patrick Stump.
The Fall Out Boy front man has reinvented himself as a different kind of pop star, trading rock for upbeat, R&B-leaning pop, and his Everydude hoodies and jeans for a tuxedo with distinctive white boots.
Basically, the new Stump is like the second coming of Prince. And, yes, he pulls it off.
Stump's hour-long set at a packed Joe's Pub Saturday night was impressive, giving a harder, funk edge to the songs from his recent EP “Truant Wave” and introducing some new, funkier jams from his forthcoming “Soul Punk” solo debut.
“I'm having a good time, already,” he says, after an opening medley that moves from jazz to a more raucous version of his OutKast-ish space funk “Porcelain.” Not only did that wide range allow him to show off his voice, which has only gotten better in its new surroundings, but also the musicianship of his five-piece backing band, which includes Baldwin native Matt Rubano on bass.
It really only got better from there. During the medley of Cobra Starship's “Kiss My Sass,” which Stump co-wrote, and his own “As Long As I Know I'm Getting Paid,” it felt like you were transported onto the set of “Purple Rain.”
In case there weren't enough Prince references – aside from the sound, the boots (!) and the fact that Stump recorded most of these songs himself, playing all of the instruments – Stump broke it down to deliver a passionate “Nothing Compares 2 U” by himself on the keyboards.
That's not to say Stump isn't giving his influences a new twist. He layers in some heavy-metal crunch into “Allie,” while the thunderous “Big Hype” breaks some new R&B production ground and the pop structure of “Explode” could make it a summer anthem.
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Though this is decidedly a new Stump, he clearly hasn't forgotten all he has learned from his arena-filling Fall Out Boy days, and if his Joe's Pub show is any indication, he'll soon be filling arenas again on his own.
SETLIST: Giant Steps/Spotlight/Porcelain / Everybody / Kiss My Sass/As Long As I Know I'm Getting Paid / Cute Girls / Allie / Nothing Compares 2 U / Cryptozoology / Big Hype / Love Selfish Love // ENCORE: Spotlight / Cupid's Chokehold/All of the Lights / Explode
Stump's sold-out tour plays Joe's Pub again Sunday and Monday night.