The Front Bottoms debut new tunes at House of Blues

The Front Bottoms, an American indie rock band from Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, consists of artists Brian Sella (left) and Mat Uychich (right). (Courtesy Jimmy Fontaine)

A lot went down between the time tickets for The Front Bottoms at the House of Blues went on sale and the time they took the stage Thursday night. It was a quick and eventful couple of months leading up to the set, so here’s the gist of what happened: the show sold out (fairly quickly), The Front Bottoms’ new album “Going Grey” (2017) was released and the opening act, Basement, played a crowdsurf-ful set, warming up an audience that was already prepared to rock.

Once Brian Sella (guitar and vocals) and Mat Uychich (drums) stepped into the spotlight, the audience knew it was in for a fun night. And a fun night they delivered. The Front Bottoms could be described as many different genres such as “pop-punk,” “emo,” “folk-punk” or “not good,” depending on who you ask, but no one could deny that their performance on Thursday was anything but pure, unadulterated fun.

As the first show on their tour in support of “Going Grey,” which officially dropped Oct. 13, the fans at the House of Blues were treated to a handful of songs that had never been performed before. Aptly placed were the opening song of the set, “You Used to Say,” which happens to be the opening song on the album, and the encore’s closer, “Ocean,” which is the final song on the record.

Despite the album being out for less than a week, it seemed as though every set of vocal chords in the building was pushing out every word of the album along with Sella. Those concert moments where the singer stops and lets the crowd recite the next line? That happened multiple times throughout the night with songs that were only six days old.

The crowd certainly didn’t complain whenever The Front Bottoms brought out some of their older hits, though. While most of the set comprised of songs from “Going Grey” and their previous album “Back On Top” (2015), they still left time for earlier bangers like “Flashlight” (2011), “Skeleton” (2013) and the fan favorite “Twin Size Mattress” (2013). Despite the band’s stark change in style between their four studio albums, fans happily sang along to whatever was thrown at them.

As a bonus, the encore started with “12 Feet Deep,” a cut off their 2014 EP “Rose.” Sella performed teh first half of the acoustic track solo, before each band member was slowly introduced until they all came together for the final chorus. So yes, there was definitely something for everyone during the show.

Just as the night was fun musically, Sella’s quirky personality shined brightly throughout the evening. He frequently talked about the band’s tour of Fenway Park throughout the set; before one song he asked the crowd who they thought ran the bases the fastest, then laughingly admitted at the end of the song that they didn’t let any of them onto the field. At another point in the night, he boldly grabbed a random shot from someone in the crowd and downed it as a precursor to their performance of “The Beers” (2011).

Speaking of the crowd, it let loose all throughout the show. At any given second during the night, someone was surfing their way to the front of the barricade. The floor was packed from front to back with people who danced, moshed and headbanged to the band’s awkward but relatable lyrics until the very last note was played. The upper balconies were filled to the brim as well; while they sensibly didn’t crowdsurf, their energy was still beaming even from up high.

Once the band finally left the stage, fans departed the venue satisfied. Nothing too unexpected happened during the night: new songs were played live, everyone sang along and danced (or moshed) and almost everyone left drenched in sweat. It was a Front Bottoms show — and to their standards of fun pop-punk, it was a successful one.


Summary

The Front Bottoms, as per usual, put on a show filled with singing, dancing, screaming and awkward pop-punk fun.

4 stars
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