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Pete Wentz all for having a ball at Green Tie gala

Pete Wentz is bill for special DJ gig Green Tie Ball Sept. 15. | AP

Pete Wentz is on the bill for a special DJ gig at the Green Tie Ball on Sept. 15. | AP

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OFFICEMAX GREEN TIE BALL

♦ 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sept. 15

♦ A Finkl & Sons, 2111 N. Southport

♦ Tickets, $135-$250

♦ Visit gatewaygreen.org; greentieball.eventbrite.com

Updated: September 12, 2012 5:49PM



One of the most anticipated charity soirees of the year, the annual Green Tie Ball kicks off Saturday night on the near North Side. Hosted by Chicago Gateway Green — the local organization dedicated to beautifying local stretches of expressways and gateways to communities — there will plenty of food, drink, dancing and celebs including co-hosts Corrie McFadden (eDrop-Off, “House of Consignment”) and Donald J. Storino, as well as “Windy City Live’s” Ryan Chiaverini and Valerie Warner as emcees, and as special guest DJs, Pete Wentz and the Chicago-based DJ Rock City.

The theme for this year’s party is “Alice in Wonderland,” and that’s cool, say Wentz, who has no trouble deciding which character from the classic book he’d love to dress up as.

“Gotta be Tweedledee and Tweedledum,” the 33-year-old bassist of the still-on-hiatus Fall Out Boy says, as he’s enjoying a summer day in the company of his 3-year-old son Bronx Mowgli (with ex-wife Ashlee Simpson). “They were my favorites. They’re kinda mysterious and [laughs] serve no purpose.”

Wentz admits he’s never been to the Green Tie Ball, but then he admits that’s not an anomaly by any means.

“I’m very excited to be part of the event,” Wentz says, “cuz I’ve never been invited to it before and it sounds like a great cause. But I don’t get invited to as many balls as you’d expect. [Laughing] And that’s a shame.”

Since “greening” our local roadways is at the heart of the Gateway Green, Wentz says he’d jump right in an beautify a stretch of Sheridan Road, close to the Wilmette-Evanston neighborhoods he grew up in and where he returns to when he’s in town.

“There’s this stretch of [Sheridan] road next to a cemetery and the lake in just as it turns into Rogers Park, right where Sheridan becomes Lake Shore Drive. Call me up... I’m there!”

The admitted caffeine freak, (he recently tweeted he must start each day with a hearty hit of a potent coffee beverage — “I’m addicted to lattes... basically coffee milk shakes”), Wentz is excited these days (with or without a caffeine buzz) about his latest music project, the electro pop/reggae/ska-twinged Black Cards. The group has whittled down Wentz and his pal, drummer Spencer Peterson, though guest musicians and singers he says, will be popping in down the road.

“We released an EP (“Use Your Dillusion”), and that was fun,” Wentz says. “We’ll probably collaborate on some new songs this fall. Yes, I think our sound is all over the map and that’s creatively just what we want it to be. For me it’s just doing music for the heck of it, and that’s the most fun way to make any kind of music.

“...Musically I’m always writing. Whether it’s for me or other bands. Inspiration comes from wherever. Sometimes a song will hit me when I’m just hanging out, and other times I will just be okay now I have to sit down and write, so I sit down and write.”

Wentz also tweeted that he and “the Little Man” as he refers sweetly to his son, have begun shopping for Halloween costumes. Turns out it’s Wentz’ favorite holiday.

“I shop for Halloween year round,” Wentz says with a laugh. “It’s my favorite holiday cuz you can dress up and be somebody else for a day. One of my favorite costumes was when I was four or five I was an orange M&M. Then later it was one of the Teletubbies. I don’t know what we’re gonna be this year. Maybe Batman and Robin. That would be cool for me and the Little Man.

As for DJ’ing, it’s not something he does a lot, he says, but when he goes for it, he’s all in.

“I’m not sure what I’ll be playing in Chicago because it’s more like I’ll do whatever I feel at the moment,” Wentz says. “The biggest thing to remember when you’re a DJ is not worrying so much about song selection but being the force that keeps the party going. When you play music, at least for me, it’s an escape. When you’re DJ’ing you have to be totally present and make sure everyone is having a good time. You’re the ringmaster.”

Wentz may be the ringmaster on Saturday night, which jives quite nicely with his circle/ring approach to life.

“I really don’t have any words to live by,” he says. “It’s just important to put good stuff out there into the universe in general. It’s a karmic universe out there so I’m hoping good stuff comes back around.”



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