As gun control again overtakes the national conversation, Fall Out Boy and G-Eazy announced Monday that they will co-headline a Washington, D.C. concert, dubbed Stay Amped, that will benefit the gun-violence prevention groups Giffords and Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund. After seeing how the students of Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have rallied together to create a unified voice against gun violence, Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz tells Rolling Stone that his band wanted to boost their signal.
“I think [the students’] first-person perspective is really powerful,” he says. “This is not a think tank or a lobby group – these are kids who have gone through what we are talking about. It’s powerful. Instead of the nation moving on this time, the kids are saying no. That’s something I want to be the soundtrack to.”
The concert will take place at Washington, D.C.’s the Anthem on March 23rd, one day before students fill the streets surrounding the Capitol as part of the March for Our Lives rally (Parkland students co-organized the rally.) Nearly 700 similar events around the nation will take place that day.
Wentz says he’s hopeful that the benefit will help begin to pave a road to real change. “I believe that kids should feel safe going to school,” he offers. “It’s pretty much simple as that. In the realm of problems, this feels like one that has a solution.”
In addition to performances by Lizzo and BeBe Rexha, the concert will give a platform to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students and other guests. Wentz looks at the concert as a show of solidarity and hopes that it inspires people to stay motivated to fight for more gun control. Although he recognizes that it may feel daunting to find a place to start on the issue, the musician points to a website titled “30 Gun Reform Actions You Can Take Now” as one such starting point.
And while it’s easy to become discouraged, he hopes people stay positive. “What is the other option?” he says. “Giving up? Saying, ‘Eh, guess this is how things are now’ isn’t something we can do. I think it’s important that we are having a conversation – that we are not just looking away.”
Tickets for the concert go on sale Wednesday via Ticketfly and, in person, through the D.C.-area venues the Anthem, 9:30 Club, Merriweather Post Pavilion and Lincoln Theater.
Additional reporting by Jason Newman