Opening the night was Brick + Mortar, an indie rock/drum and base duo from Toms River, New Jersey and boy, can these guys bring on the party!
Although the band officially consists of frontman Brandon Asraf and John Tacon on drums, they were joined on stage by a friend of the band that took care of the visuals from props to the projections on the curtains. Having come prepared, with posters with each song’s name, gigantic purple hands to wave around, a pope outfit and a balloon filled with confetti notes, this was definitely a band that didn’t care they were opening the show, they were determined to make it their own!
Filling the room with a youthful and upbeat, fun atmosphere, almost resembling a university party, Brandon was encouraging everyone to put their hands up or sing along. There was great energy during their entire set, which was helped along by the props they had, as you just didn’t know what was next. Though it’s difficult to decide on a highlight, the most fun seemed to be the song called “Terrible Things” to which Brandon gave an insight as to that mental health awareness was what inspired the surprisingly upbeat song. During this track, they had a big green balloon filled with confetti notes being passed around which was eventually popped by the drummer, John, what looked like, by mistake. Luckily, we were able to grab hold of one, which read: “When he finally leaves the room and you can finally fart” – yes, definitely one of the struggles of everyday life.
All in all, Brick + Mortar were great fun! They have so much potential and am confident they will go on and be much bigger, if there ever was to be a headline tour on the cards, we will be first in line to see what they bring for it.
The Smith Street Band
Soon to follow on from Brick and Mortar was Australian natives The Smith Street Band.
Looking back on it, the two support acts almost complement each other, as The Smith Street Band opened with a couple of mellow songs, which seemed like it was the quiet after the storm that was Brick + Mortar, especially with The Front Bottoms more closely similar to The Smith Street Band. Unfortunately their first song of the set ‘Death to the Lads’ which should have been one that the upbeat crowd could sing a long to, was hampered with technical issues with the lead microphone and the whole first song was drowned out by the band without any vocal.
On the third track, however, they properly brought on the atmosphere and kept this up throughout their set. All members were enjoying themselves as well as the audience, with lead singer Wil Wagner leading the charge with bags of energy and passion that was infectious throughout.
Despite the slight malfunction at the beginning and the numerous broken drum sticks, The Smith Street Band offered a great show with good balance between lighter and heavier tracks, ending on a high, with ‘Throw me in the river’ which was the perfect song to end their set.
The Front Bottoms
Last but certainly not least, the headliners of the night – Enter the Front bottoms.
With a set up filled with haze, a projection screen on either side of the stage and play of lights worthy of a festival of lighting, low and behold the Front Bottoms start off the show with ‘You used to say (Holy F***)’ with an enthatic chorus ever one was in full voice to sing. The energetic atmosphere as kept up with every song, bringing the crowd alive.
Their set list consisted of a mix of tracks, from upbeat to slower tracks, all catchy and easy to listen and sing along to. Symbolic to the sudden black screen at the end of a movie, they end the majority in full darkness.
Finally, I few songs in, lead vocalist, Brian Sella, checks if everyone is enjoying themselves and jokingly dedicates their following songs to random people in the crowd, before inviting everyone to the Wetherspoons up to the road for and afterparty. Sadly, due to transport, I can’t confirm if this actually happened in the end, but if it did, I’m sure it was great fun and wish we could’ve stayed. Definitely next time!
All in all however, The Front Bottoms provided a cracking evening, with Sella accurately proclaiming ‘Gotta love some Sunday night Rock ‘n’ Roll’!