WRIGLEYVILLE — Aldermen said they received a “pattern of noise complaints” surrounding Fall Out Boy’s hometown show at Wrigley Field last week, but Cubs officials say the boisterous show was amplified by a rare occurrence of atmospheric conditions that carried the sound waves farther than usual.
The rock group stopped in Chicago Wednesday for the first show of its So Much For (Tour) Dust tour.
Concert noise is a normal thing for Wrigley Field’s neighbors, who often camp outside the stadium to listen to the live performances. But it’s unusual for those shows to be heard in neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, Roscoe Village, Ravenswood, North Center and Bucktown, as people reported on social media during the show.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), who lives south of Fullerton Avenue in Lincoln Park, told Block Club he and many of his constituents reported hearing the show from their homes. Alds. Bennett Lawson (44th) and Timmy Knudsen (43rd) also said their offices received complaints about the noise.
“We had quite a few noise complaints from the Lincoln Park area,” Hopkins said. “We told people it was the Fall Out Boy show at Wrigley, and some people couldn’t believe us because you can never hear the concerts that far south.”
Cubs spokesperson Julian Green said atmospheric conditions, including temperatures, wind and low humidity, created a “rare occurrence” that carried the sound farther than usual.
Wednesday saw a temperature inversion with colder air near the surface and warmer weather just above it, Hopkins said. Sound waves travel farther in cold weather and faster in warm weather. The temperature inversion — combined with the wind coming from the northeast — focused the sound waves in a way that allowed them to travel farther and louder.
The Cubs do sound monitoring and checks for every show, Green said. The sound system was tuned to the same decibel level for the following night’s Morgan Wallen show without any noise complaints, Green said.
Fall Out Boy finished their show at 10:57 p.m., which is three minutes before the 11 p.m. cutoff time for amplified music at Wrigley Field.
“It’s tough to regulate Mother Nature,” Green said. “If you’re living in Lincoln Park and you’re south of Fullerton, it’s probably going to be a little bit of a nuisance to hear a long concert, but 99 percent of the time, you’re not going to hear anything from Wrigley Field.”
The next concerts at Wrigley Field are Aug. 9 and 11, when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform two sold-out shows.
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