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The Front Bottoms review: A show to remember

PUBLISHED: 12:53 26 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:52 26 February 2018

The Front Bottoms performing at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam Dawes

The Front Bottoms performing at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam Dawes

Sam Dawes

Sunday fun day at the Waterfront last night [February 25] as American natives The Front Bottoms took over the venue bringing Aussies The Smith Street Band and fellow Americans Bricks + Mortar along as support.

Bricks + Mortar supporting The Front Bottoms at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam DawesBricks + Mortar supporting The Front Bottoms at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam Dawes

First up for the evening was Bricks + Mortar. Stereotypically opening a show is normally a thankless task, often getting frosty receptions and not much time to impress. Someone didn’t tell Bricks + Mortar this as from the get go, they thoroughly entertained the crowd and won them over within seconds.

The duo’s energy was infectious and before playing a single song they got the crowd to ‘boo’ them to get it out their systems. Even if they hadn’t done that I would be amazed if they’d gotten a single bad reaction from the crowd.

Bricks + Mortar supporting The Front Bottoms at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam DawesBricks + Mortar supporting The Front Bottoms at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam Dawes

They ran through their set accompanied with a projector displaying strange cartoons that perfectly fitted their songs. It appeared that they had someone with them that was purely there for visual entertainment, dressing in all kinds of costumes and armed with a variety of props. This is one band you need to check out.

Following on from Bricks + Mortar were Australian rockers, The Smith Street Band. Sadly, the levels of energy nose dived on the first song ‘Death to the Lads’. What should have been a song that got the crowd singing in full voice, failed to deliver due to problems with the lead vocals Wil Wagner’s microphone which meant we were unable to hear him for the entire first song.

The Smith Street Band supporting The Front Bottoms at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam DawesThe Smith Street Band supporting The Front Bottoms at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam Dawes

From there they were able to recover somewhat, soon fixing the lead’s microphone, but the energy just couldn’t match the heights from the band before.

They did attempt to build themselves up by talking about Alan Partridge in between songs, which failed to get as much of a response from the crowd as they may have hoped.

The Smith Street Band supporting The Front Bottoms at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam DawesThe Smith Street Band supporting The Front Bottoms at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam Dawes

They carried on through their set without any more drama setting things up for the headliners, The Front Bottoms.

The New Jersey natives finally took to the stage to round off the evening. It was impressive how big they made the stage feel, with six members of the band filling every corner, with two projection screens on either side too. They definitely made sure that they put on a show to remember.

The Front Bottoms performing at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam DawesThe Front Bottoms performing at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam Dawes

‘You Used To Say’ kicked off the set suitably with a chorus that got the crowd in full voice from the get go.

They kept that level up throughout their set, not leaving much room to breathe, as they tore through their set, keeping the crowd bouncing for near enough the entire show.

The Front Bottoms performing at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam DawesThe Front Bottoms performing at The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Sam Dawes

Visuals on the projectors accompanied each song perfectly with the likes of ‘Vacation Town’ displaying sunny beaches and holiday destinations and other graphics that were perfectly timed with the band as lead singer Brian Sella proclaimed ‘Gotta love some Sunday night Rock ‘n’ Roll’. It’s hard to argue with that one.

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