In just the short space of two years, New Jersey’s The Front Bottoms have visited the fine shores of Albion four times. The band who never seem to stop have yet to debut material from their most recent release Talon Of The Hawk, and what better place to do it than Sheffield with the first night of the tour packed out.
Opening up the night are the fine lads in Panda Watch, this being the band’s second time opening up the tour for The Front Bottoms and on this tour, the band will follow to Leeds and Birmingham. With their blend of emo and early 2000s pop-punk, the band’s refined their live sound a lot more and tends to focus more on originals this time around rather than covers.
With her first ever gig on English soil, Allison Weiss manages to impress. Despite not being able to bring her band over, Weiss is still able to capture the attention of the room with her commanding voice. Opening up with the infectious ‘One Way Love’, Weiss continues to impress with the change of dynamic in ‘Wait For Me’, a bit more of a timid ballad. Ending her set with the raw ‘Don’t Go’, it’s clear Weiss will be turning a lot of heads on this tour.
Every time The Front Bottoms come back to the UK, the number of fans in attendance seems to double. Despite this being the band’s first time performing in Sheffield, they’ve still managed to sell out the venue. Focusing a lot more on cuts from their most recent album Talon Of The Hawk, The Front Bottoms open up with ‘Skeleton’ which clears a perfect path for old favourites ‘Rhode Island’ and ‘Mountain’.
The Front Bottoms
The addition of two extra members (Tom and Ciaran) really adds a lot more depth to the old songs. The overwhelming crescendo during the bridge of ‘Swimming Pool’ feels heightened with tension as well as ‘Flashlight’ sounding more akin to the album version. Ending the night with ‘Twin Size Mattress’ the band get a bit claustrophobic onstage as there’s a small stage invasion by a couple of eager fans who sing alongside the band despite being told to vacate by the stage manager.
With this show, it was made clear that The Front Bottoms are still on fine form. When played live, these songs are given new life, and you get a feeling that this is how The Front Bottoms are meant to be experienced; live on a stage, surrounded by a crowd of likeminded people singing every word back at them.
Photos by Dan Hess