I remember back in 2011 receiving a press copy of The Front Bottom’s self-titled. It was one of those rare moments in life where a seemingly inconsequential decision (like taking the time to listen to that album instead of any of the others I had received that day) turned out to be a pivotal point, leading me to discover one of my favorite bands.
I listened to songs like “Maps”, “The Beers”, and “Father” and thought how incredibly weird, quirky, and catchy all these songs were. The way the lyrics ripped through me and the way Brian Sella couldn’t really sing, but how that was also the charm of it. I showed that album to anyone and everyone who would listen. I remember interviewing them in their beat-up white van, and watching them play inside TT’s to about 15 people.
Flash-forward to last night, the start of their ‘Going Grey’ tour, with Boston as the first stop. I see their shiny new tour bus (a major upgrade from the van) as I walk in, and when they take the stage of this sold-out show it’s no longer 15 people clapping and cheering—it’s several thousand fans screaming along the lyrics, jumping up and down, throwing their hands in the air, going absolutely wild and reciting every single song they play, no matter how new or old, their fans know them all and they are passionate in their love of each and every track.
There’s a scattered mix of favorites old and new, including throwbacks to their self-titled, along with songs from “Talon of the Hawk” and “Back on Top” with plenty of incorporation of their latest album, “Going Grey,” which the audience hungrily grasps on to, while screaming the lyrics just as loud as any other song.
Through an hour and a half set, the energy at the HOB never dies down. From beginning to end the audience is all in. Towards the end, Brian thanks the audience, pausing before saying “this feels pretty good.”
I look around and see nothing but smiles, some streaked with tears as they watch their favorite band perform right in front of them. I can’t help it—I start to grin. This wide-toothed smile won’t leave my face as I think about how incredible it is to have watched this transformation. From 15 people to 2,500 screaming fans in such a short amount of time (relatively speaking). This band with their raw, weird lyrics and their unique style, they’ve built this incredible tribe and infected the lives of so many people. Plus, they put on one hell of a live show, and if night #1 is any indication, this is going to be an incredible tour. I wouldn’t miss it.