The Front Bottoms – Rock City, Nottingham 20/11/16

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Sunday 20th November saw Nottinghams Rock City hold host to quirky American pop punk band, The Front Bottoms. After playing Rescue Rooms back in February, on their Back on Top tour, this venue was a large step up for the four-piece. Although not sold out, the energetic crowd more than made up for it.

Apologies, I Have None played first doing a half an hour set including song like Clapton Pond and Long Gone. Gnarwolves went after and did a great job of warming everyone up, creating a sense of community in the room. Chatty frontman Thom Weeks got everyone involved, both fans old and new. The majority of the eager crowd knew of Gnarwolves and were able to sing along as they played hits such as Community, Stability, Identity and Smoking Kills during their 40 minute set.

The Front Bottoms kicked things off with Skeleton from their second album, Talon of the Hawk. They already had the crowd screaming the lyrics back at frontman, Brian Sella and the band seemed humbled by the reaction of the crowd with Sella grinning every time his lyrics were finished for him – for a moment, you forget how popular the band are.

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On stage sits a beige couch from which Josh McKenzie from Apologies, I Have None watches the headliners set. Lamps are dotted around the stage and a television is placed facing the crowd on the side of the stage, and you’re made to think they’re playing a show in your front room surrounded by a group of people who have become your family for the evening. The whole show felt incredibly personal as though you were watching a local band rather than one from across the pond. From here, their 20 song set included popular songs like Au Revoir (Adios) and Swimming Pool. A nice mix of old and new songs appealed to all the fans, leaving no one disappointed.

The set went quickly with the band usually playing songs one after another but some breaks between songs gave the frontman the opportunity to show his awkward yet witty personality, telling jokes and telling stories before songs. Brian has a unique, contagious, energy about him which shows through the music. Every song means something to him and you can see it. ‘You are still the only thing and everything I need in my life’ he sings in a low tone during Flashlight, a lyric many in the crowd can relate to.

Ending their main set with Twin Sized Mattress the crowd had little time to catch their breath before the encore of two of their biggest songs, Maps and Twelve Feet Deep. This gave crowd surfers one last chance to reach security while everyone used the last of their energy to enjoy the last songs from what had been an amazing, energetic performance from the band.

Overall I loved the personal touch of The Front Bottom’s show. I thoroughly enjoyed both opening acts and was more than happy with the range of songs the headliners played. I would love to see them play Nottingham again in the near future.

8/10

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