Concert Reviews: The Front Bottoms, November 10th, Beat Kitchen

“The last time we toured with Cheap Girls we got fined $500 for teasing a police animal. If a police dog barks at you, don’t bark back.”

The Please and Thank Yous started out the night on Saturday in Chicago, not only warming up the stage musically for Cheap Girls and The Front Bottoms, but also imparting words of wisdom to the all ages crowd at Beat Kitchen. Playing mostly from their newest album “At Your Merci” (they made sure to point out the word play to the audience. I’m guessing puns are not new territory for this band since their “about” page on facebook reads “taking the k out of punk since 2006″ – love it), the foursome filled the stage with their DIY indie-punk sound, and were obviously appreciative of the packed house that had come in early to see them.

Cheap Girls took the stage next, and unlike the Please and Thank Yous, they got down to business right away – no banter – which is somewhat surprising for a band with the name Cheap Girls who has run ins with the police. I would say more about their set but I was mostly focused on not passing out at that point – it must’ve been 100 degrees in that place – and trying to justify to myself again why it was not okay to take all my clothing off. During the set one semi-conscious girl got carried off by security and another walked by with a face full of blood (not really sure what happened to her, but somewhat ironic that The Front Bottoms have a song called “I think your nose is bleeding”), so I got rather distracted and that’s all I can say about Cheap Girls’ set.

Happily later in the night security opened some doors (if only temporarily) and The Front Bottoms took the stage to the obvious joy of the sold out crowd. The Front Bottoms will stick with me for two reasons: they have very, very specific songs, and they obviously love their fans.

A lot of indie bands have hazy, vague songs that blend into each other, but not The Front Bottoms. The Front Bottoms have that song about taking pictures of a sleeping girlfriend and hearing her dog whistle from the other room. And they have that other one about wearing concrete boots and finding comfort in the bottom of a swimming pool. Then there’s that one about having a map on your wall and big, big dreams, with the chorus that is impossible to get out of your head about ending up washing yourself with handsoap in a public restroom. Every single one of their songs tells a story, and most have lyrics that make me laugh out loud.

Obviously the crowd was enjoying the show as much as I was, because by the time The Front Bottoms came to their last song of the night, 50% of the audience was up on the stage, singing along with the lead singer, dancing, stepping on his guitar chord, and ruffling his hair (all of which he took in stride, with considerable calm). A lot of artists yell out the obligatory “we love Chicago!” “you guys are awesome!” during their sets, but maintaining your smile while 50 copiously sweating teenagers take over your stage – that’s something else.

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts

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