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Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump shares high school experience with Glenbrook South students

Stump performs on Glenbrook South High School's stage during an assembly Oct. 30 in Glenview. photo by Jessica Cantarelli

Stump performs on Glenbrook South High School's stage during an assembly Oct. 30 in Glenview. photo by Jessica Cantarelli

With a spotlight aimed center stage, Patrick Stump sits alone, strumming a guitar and belting out songs in that all-too-familiar singing voice as hundreds of eyes are glued on him.

Being on stage is anything but foreign to Stump, who has performed all over the world as the lead singer of the Grammy-award winning pop-punk band Fall Out Boy. But the 25-year-old Stump returned to Glenview for a special performance on the one of the first stages he ever made music onin Glenbrook South High Schools auditorium.

Stump, a Glenview native and 2002 graduate, made a homecoming appearance at GBS Oct. 30, speaking to students and faculty at two assemblies. Stump also performed Oct. 31 at Foodstock, a concert for Glenbrook South and Glenbrook North students in light of their canned food drive, in which students set the new world record for the largest can stack.

Though Stump said he spends most of his time in Los Angeles, he never really moved out of Glenviewhe returns home to visit as much as possible. He said his upbringing in Glenview was a lot different than teens today.

I think its really interesting as how much its changed, how much the towns changed, Stump said. The Glenview I grew up in was a very different place. It seemed a bit more working class. It was built around the naval air basethat was kind of more of a cultural fixture-with the fact that none of your friends would be sticking around very long.

During the assemblies, Stump sat on stage with GBS Activities Director Jim Shellard, who coordinated Stumps appearance, and the two participated in a Q-and-A session. Donning a while, button-up shirt with black skinny jeans, silver shoes and his signature hat, Stumps look was a far cry from his high school days, when he sported spiky hair, baggy jeans and long chains.

Im very impressed with who he is, said Glenbrook South principal Brian Wegley. Were all just so proud of his talent and success, and it shows a lot about who he is to come back and do this for us. You can tell he enjoyed his time here. The teachers who had him have nothing but nice things to say about having him in their classes.

He reflected on his high school experience, reminiscing about his days in Paradox, a performing arts troupe and his heavy involvement in music, being a radio show host and a regular performer in battle of the bands, coffee house events, the variety show and in countless bands outside of school.

I dont really know about where music comes from for me, he said. Its one of those things. I dont think of it as a thing, its just something I do, Ive always done it, Ive always had it. I just remember the thing that was cool for me being here, was that I was able to utilize, my, I guess, obsession. I would blow off every free period and sneak into the orchestra room to play the upright basses. I would play piano.

But, despite his involvement in school activities, Stump admits he rarely, if ever, did his homework.

I didnt do, like, any homework for like, four years, he said. The thing I was focusing on was music. I was playing shows at least once a week anywherebasements and bars and places I wasnt old enough to get into.

Stump said he had no agenda with his homecoming appearance and was not there to promote anything and was happy to contribute to the students efforts to break a world record and raise money for the Northfield Township Food Pantry.

Foodstock was held Saturday, Oct. 31 at GBS, and six student bands performed along with a solo performance by Stump. Money from concert ticket sales was donated to the food pantry.

Glenviews a surprisingly motivated area, and I think I went to a pretty awesome public school, Stump said. With the whole Foodstock thing, it shows how motivated the kids are and how motivated the community is. The thing I love about the area is that we are relatively giving. Its important to note how giving of an area it is.

Stump performed songs on acoustic guitar for the crowds, including favorites like his own Dance, Dance and even Michael Jacksons Beat It. Stump then sang a song with music by the GBS jazz band and even took to the drums for a jazz rendition of Sweet Home Chicago.

Wegley said he was most impressed by Stumps humbleness, considering Fall Out Boys global success.

When Im in Hollywood, I go to Target like everybody else, Stump said. Being humble is a virtue.

He was always a talented kid, said jazz band director Greg Wojcik. Were very proud of his career, but more of the person hes become. Its just wonderful that he was able to tell students about his high school experience today, because it wasnt too long ago he was sitting where they are now.

Whenever he comes back to the area, Stump said he always makes sure to get Chicago-style pizza, whether it be Giordanos or Lou Malnatis, and this time, he wanted to pay a visit to P.J. Moondoggies.

Despite his work being mostly Los Angeles-based, Stump said he will always think of Chicago as home.

Im happy to have grown up here, he said. I dont ever want to find myself living permanent outside of the Chicagoland area. Its my home.

See more photos from Stump’s homecoming here.

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