Entries tagged with: The Front Bottoms
by Andrew Sacher
photo: The Front Bottoms at MHOW in June (more by Mimi Hong)
The Front Bottoms aren't holding back at all with rolling out their new album, Back On Top (due 9/18 via Fueled By Ramen). They've already released three of the eleven songs, and here's a fourth. "Laugh Till I Cry" continues the band's approach to combining pop punk and folk rock, and like second single "Cough It Out," this one leans a bit more on the latter. Check out the video, directed by Mark Jaworski, below (via NPR).
The band's tour with Elvis Depressedly and The Smith Street Band hits NYC for two BrooklynVegan-presented shows: October 14 and 15 at Irving Plaza. Tickets are still available (but "not many left" for 10/15).
photo: The Front Bottoms at MHOW in June (more by Mimi Hong)
Their new album, Back On Top, will be out September 18. More info and all tour dates HERE.
UPDATE: PRESALE PASSWORD HERE.
by Andrew Sacher
photo: The Front Bottoms at MHOW in June (more by Mimi Hong)
The Front Bottoms already released two singles this year, "West Virginia" and "Cough It Out," and today they're back with a third: "Help." It's not a Beatles cover, but it is pretty great Front Bottoms song. It's more or less TFB doing what they do best, but they scale things back a bit compared to their last album. This one has more restraint, and dare I say, a more "mature" sound? Watch the video, directed by Mike Petrow, below.
All three singles will appear on their upcoming album, which they now finally announced details of. It's called Back On Top and comes out September 18 via Fueled by Ramen. To record it, they went with producer Joe Chiccarelli, who's worked with The Strokes, The Shins, Morrissey and more. You can check out the artwork and tracklist below. If you pre-order, you get all three singles as an instant download.
The band also announced a North American tour with The Smith Street Band and Elvis Depressedly, which is a solid lineup all around. BrooklynVegan is proud to present the two NYC shows: October 14 & 15 at Irving Plaza. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 7 at 10 AM. There's a fan club presale starting Saturday (8/1) at 10 AM and a BV presale starting Monday (8/3) at 10 AM. Check back here Monday morning for the password.
UPDATE: PRESALE PASSWORD HERE.
All dates are listed, with the video, artwork and tracklist, below...
photos by Mimi Hong
The Front Bottoms keep getting bigger, and this past Monday (6/22) they played what's now a small Brooklyn show for them at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It sold out very quickly, and was unsurprisingly packed to the gills with people going nuts. The band announced from the stage that they'll have a new album out this year on their new label home, Fueled By Ramen. It will feature recent singles "West Virginia" and "Cough It Out." If you haven't heard those yet, listen to both below. Pictures of the MHOW show, including openers GDP and Youngman Grand, are in this post.
The Front Bottoms have three more shows coming up as of this post. The first is Cooperstown with Brand New and Kevin Devine (tickets). They also play Bleachers' big Asbury Park show with Vic Mensa, How to Dress Well, Charli XCX, Cults & more (tix), and a free Philly show with their new labelmates... Panic! at the Disco. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
More pictures and videos of the new singles, below...
by Andrew Sacher
photo: The Front Bottoms in Baltimore earlier this month (more by Mimi Hong)
The Front Bottoms recently put out the new single "West Virginia," and today they released another new one, "Cough It Out." This one embraces their folk rock side more than usual, with their punk elements taking a back seat. It's a good one -- check out the video below.
TFB also played Brooklyn last night (6/22) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Stay tuned for pictures from that.
photos by Mimi Hong
The Front Bottoms' upcoming dates include a Brooklyn show on 6/22 at MHOW, which went on sale today and quickly sold out, as well as a Cooperstown show with Brand New on August 15 at Brewery Ommegang (tickets) and an Asbury Park show on September 19 at Stone Pony Summer Stage with Bleachers, Charli XCX, VIc Mensa, How to Dress Well, Cults and more. That's two days before Bleachers and Charli XCX's Central Park SummerStage show. Tickets for both of those are available.
LVL UP also have a bunch of upcoming tour dates, including a run with Adventures and Palehound, opening for Basement. That tour hits NYC on August 17 at Irving Plaza. Tickets are still on sale. Basement also play NJ with Title Fight two days earlier (tickets), and like The Front Bottoms, have a few dates opening for Brand New (one of which also has Desaparecidos).
All LVL UP, Basement, and Front Bottoms dates are listed, with more pictures from the Baltimore show, below...
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Mark Jaworski
The Front Bottoms haven't announced a followup to 2013's great Talon of the Hawk yet, but they do finally have a new single. (Last year's Rose EP was re-recordings of old songs.) It's called "West Virginia" and it's basically The Front Bottoms doing what they do best -- highly specific lyrics and ultra catchy melodies in a song that's somewhere between folk and pop punk. We've got the premiere of the video below. You can also get a free download by signing for the band's fan club, The Front Bottoms Motorcycle Club.
The Front Bottoms also have a few shows coming up, including the 'Front Bottoms Motorcycle Club Party' happening in Brooklyn on June 22 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The show's with two of TFB's old pals, GDP and Youngman Grand. Tickets go on sale Wednesday (6/10) at noon, and you get a presale password if you sign up for their fan club. Show flyer below.
They also play Jack Antonoff's upcoming Asbury Park festival, Shadow of the City, on September 19 at Stone Pony Summer Stage with Jack's band Bleachers, his tourmate Charli XCX, as well as Vic Mensa, How to Dress Well, Cults and more. Tickets go on sale Friday (6/12) at 10 AM, with various presales starting Wednesday (6/10) at 10 AM.
The band are wrapping up a run with LVL UP in Baltimore tonight (6/9), and they also have a Cooperstown show with Brand New in August and a free Philly show in September. All dates are listed, with the new song, below...
photos by Ryan Muir, words by Andrew Sacher
Chris, Hallie & Jeff / Screaming Females / Mimi on the Hoops
The Chris Gethard Show made the move from public access to cable network Fusion last night (5/28), and Chris and a number of his talented friends celebrated in style with a BrooklynVegan-presented premiere party at Rough Trade NYC. Chris began the night asking if anyone was a fan of TCGS, which was met by roars from the majority of the crowd, and most of the room was bopping around to openers Hiccup, whose lineup includes Hallie Bulleit and Alex Clute from TCGS' house band.
After Hiccup, Chris returned to the stage to introduce the next musical guest, Jeff Rosenstock. As anyone who's seen a Jeff show knows, Jeff Rosenstock fans LOVE Jeff Rosenstock and they go hard the whole time he's on stage. He played as a power trio which included his former Bomb the Music Industry! bandmate John DeDomenici on bass. Chris introduced them and got the performance started with an "EAT MORE BUTTS!" chant (a tradition). That went on for four or five minutes and had pretty much the whole crowd involved. That crowd involvement didn't die once, even during the more lyrically advanced songs. Jeff played stuff off his new solo album, We Cool?, which the crowd already knew all the words to. And when he brought out Fake Problems' Chris Farren to play stuff from their collaborative Antarctigo Vespucci project, the crowd knew all the words to that too. The whole place basically never stopped jumping around (including Chris Gethard, who was in the jumping mob of people for almost the whole set), both on stage and off.
For Jeff's big finale, he brought Chris Gethard back out on stage to sing lead on a Smiths cover (Chris's favorite band), and then Chris and Jeff led the crowd in yet another "EAT MORE BUTTS!" chant. Soon, they were joined by Hallie from Hiccup/TCGS and then she took over the chant in an even crazier way. (Less baseball game chant, more rap metal yelling.) This big grand finale included her and Chris lying on stage, Jeff's guitar making its way through the crowd, and more shenanigans before finally ending with just Jeff's trio playing a piano/synth/xylophone coda.
After all that craziness, the night could have ended there. But of course it didn't, because the main reason the event was even happening had yet to begin: the screening of The Chris Gethard Show's cable TV debut. The episode, which was a bit dark on Rough Trade's screen (sorry about that!), included some impressive guests for his debut, including Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, who go back with Chris to their UCB days and also work with him on their cable TV show, Broad City. The premise of the episode was acknowledging weird things about your weird body and then totally owning it, and Chris, Ilana and Abbi had guests either Skype in or show up in person to celebrate their bodily weirdness. I won't ruin anything in case you haven't seen the episode yet, but one detail is that it includes a "Genital Chamber" (watch a clip from that part below). To paraphrase Chris, how can you make the move to cable TV and not incorporate genitals? Ending the show was a musical performance from more old friends The Front Bottoms. (Members of TFB were also in attendance at the premiere, but none made appearances on stage.)
After the screening, Chris took the stage again and thanked everyone for watching, and brought out a few other TCGS cast members, including Shannon Patricia O'Neill, Murf, and crowd favorite Mimi on the Hoops for her hula-hooping routine.
Then Chris brought up another musical performer, his Don Giovanni labelmate Mal Blum. Mal and Chris performed their collaborative song "Crying at the Wawa" from Chris's comedy album, My Comedy Album, which came out on Don Giovanni last year. Then Chris left the stage and Mal did a solo cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" (which her DG labelmates Downtown Boys recently recorded a cover of too) followed by one of her own songs.
Chris Gethard and Mal Blum
Finally to wrap up the night was a set from Don Giovanni's shreddingest [sic] band, Screaming Females. Though Screaming Females aren't the sing-along kind of band that Jeff Rosenstock is, and they included no chants about eating butts, the crowd was just as enthusiastic for them. Mimi returned to the stage for more hula-hooping during their set. People all over the floor and in the balconies were dancing and jumping around, and of course the band was great as always. They were super tight, Marissa Paternoster's solos were face-melting as ever, Marissa even crowd surfed, and we got a great setlist with old favorites like "It All Means Nothing" and "I Don't Mind It" mixed in with stuff from their great new album.
Screaming Females (who also gave a performance and Q&A with Ted Leo at Apple Store SoHo a day earlier) next play the area opening for Bouncing Souls in NJ in July. Chris Gethard has more NYC shows, including the Vulture Festival at The Bell House this weekend, and one with Mal Blum, who plays Palisades on 7/2, the day after Hiccup play there with Chumped. Chris Farren next plays NYC in July on his tour with Rocky Votolato and Dave Hause.
Set your DVRs to start taping The Chris Gethard Show on Fusion if you can. Check out more pictures from last night's Rough Trade show and a clip from the first episode, below...
photos by Mimi Hong, words by Andrew Sacher
The Gaslight Anthem / The Front Bottoms / Cloud Nothings
After a successful day 1, the 2015 Skate & Surf Festival held its second and final day at the Asbury Park oceanfront on Sunday (5/17). While most of the exciting stuff on Saturday started later on (for me at least -- maybe Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! have fans?), Sunday kicked off in a big way with Modern Baseball taking the opening slot on the main stage (the Gameloud Stage). I had been wondering how a band who's risen as quickly as them could be put so early on the main stage, rather than getting a mid-day or evening slot on a side stage, but once Modern Baseball came on I knew the answer. Their crowd probably wouldn't fit anywhere else. The park was filled with fans who came early to see them, and it wasn't just people there to check out the hype. A majority of the crowd knew every single word.
As great a turnout as Modern Baseball had though, the band who had their crowd going off more than anyone -- even more than headliners The Gaslight Anthem -- hit that same stage a few hours later: The Front Bottoms. They're actually kinda likeminded to Modern Baseball (both bands reminded me of The Weakerthans at first) with their knacks for nasally vocals, super specific lyrics, and music with the drive of punk but cleaner guitars. It's kind of amazing to see stuff like this catch on too. Both bands have pretty indie/DIY approaches, and on a festival which still gets called a "pop punk festival," they're not exactly your typical fare. More importantly though, both bands are a hell of a lot of fun.
Over on the smaller stages, Sunday had a lot of good stuff too. There was Beach Slang, who were on the small East Stage mid-day, but played like they were headlining the festival. Not that it was a surprise. They may only have nine songs out so far, but they've been putting on shows like they're the biggest band in the world since the beginning. We of course got all those usual favorites, as well as "Ride the Wild Haze" (heard earlier this year in Brooklyn) and another new one, both presumably off their upcoming debut LP on Polyvinyl.
Unfortunately, Beach Slang's set was disrupted by a power outage due to a faulty generator which affected the adjacent East and West Stages a few more times throughout the day before they got a new generator hours later. More than one of those times was during the band who immediately followed Beach Slang, Hot Rod Circuit.
Beach Slang and Hot Rod Circuit getting some air
Hot Rod Circuit were back with their Sorry About Tomorrow/If It's Cool With You, It's Cool With Me lineup for this show and their Connecticut show a day earlier (which were their first shows since 2011 and reportedly the only two they're doing), and their set leaned most heavily on that era. They kicked off with the ripping "Radiation Suit," and you really couldn't have asked for a better opener. It's the one where their punk energy and pop hooks come together the strongest, and taking that one right into the fist-pumping "At Nature's Mercy" had the crowd amped enough to sing an entire verse a capella after the power cut out for the first time. The band picked the song back up once the power came back, but it very quickly went out again, at which point Andy Jackson got out his acoustic guitar and played "Camo," the acoustic bonus track on The Underground Is A Dying Breed. It was hard to totally make it out with all the other sounds of the festival -- including Cloud Nothings' set on the World Stage (which I unfortunately missed due to it overlapping with HRC, but we did get pictures of both) -- but a cooler experience than having us just wait around.
Once they came back, we got a few more favorites including "Stateside," "Now Or Never," "Irish Car Bomb" and "The Power of Vitamins." And even though the flow of the set was interrupted, when HRC were on, they were on. Casey Prestwood's lead guitar was flawless, which was even more amazing considering he was either jumping around or rolling on the floor for most of the set. And really the whole band sounded fantastic on every song. It's a bummer they aren't playing more shows.
A couple slots later on that stage was Small Brown Bike, another veteran band who had been silent since 2011, and who played that same CT show with Hot Rod the night earlier. Their 7:05 set was completely delayed until a new generator was brought in, not starting until closer to 8 PM. Delays aside though, when SBB got up there, they sounded great. We got stuff from all four of their albums -- "The Cannons and Tanks"," See You In Hell," "Tragically Ending," "Onward and Overboard" and plenty more. And while you did kinda get the vibe that they would've gone over better in a small venue (I was hoping their set would've looked a little more like it did at Cake Shop in 2010), SBB still gave it their all.
Pianos Become the Teeth
Other highlights that day included the grungy, headbanging Manchester Orchestra, reunited post-hardcore band Poison the Well, headlining home state heroes The Gaslight Anthem, singer/songwriter Kevin Devine and his rocking band (Kevin also joined The Front Bottoms on stage for "Twin Size Mattress"), and a highly intense set from Pianos Become the Teeth. One of the best times I've ever seen them.
Day 1 pictures HERE. Day 2 pictures continue below...
photo: Brand New at Forest Hills Stadium in 2014 (more by Mimi Hong)
Brand New are touring this year, including a New York show happening at Cooperstown's Brewery Ommegang on August 16 with Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine. That show went on sale last week and quickly sold out, but the band have now added a second date happening August 15 at Brewery Ommegang, this time with The Front Bottoms and Kevin Devine. Tickets are on presale now.
Like at the 8/16 show, this one will have the new collaborative Brand New/Ommegang brew of beer for sale.
Brand New also added New Orleans and Nashville shows. Updated dates are listed, with a stream of their recent single "Mene" (their first new song in six years), below...
Asbury Park's Skate & Surf festival is this weekend (May 16-17) with a pretty great lineup of punk, pop punk, indie rock, post-hardcore and more. There's a few conflicts (fans of both Hot Rod Circuit and Cloud Nothings have a tough choice to make), but it mostly looks like a pretty convenient schedule. Check out the full thing (including a few recently-added bands) below.
Cincinnati's Bunbury Music Festival returns this year from June 5-7 at Downtown's Sawyer Point and Yeatman's Cove. The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers and Snoop Dogg are headlining, and the rest of the lineup includes The Decemberists, Brand New, Tame Impala, Father John Misty, Temples, The Front Bottoms, Atmosphere, Reverend Horton Heat, Old Crow Medicine Show, Matt & Kim, Manchester Orchestra, Bleachers and more. Still more acts TBA. Tickets are on sale now.
Full initial lineup below...
Asbury Park festival Skate & Surf has expanded its lineup once again, and this thing just keeps getting better and better. Cloud Nothings, Iron Chic, Defeater, Defeater alt-country side project Alcoa, Hot Rod Circuit (first show announced for their Sorry About Tomorrow-era lineup reunion), and Thrice (first US reunion date announced) have all been added, joining a lineup of The Gaslight Anthem, American Nightmare, Manchester Orchestra, The Front Bottoms, Modern Baseball, Small Brown Bike, Beach Slang, mewithoutYou, Pianos Become the Teeth and more.
The day-by-day lineups have also been revealed, and you can check those out below. Tickets are still available.
In related news, Alcoa recently announced a tour which hits NYC on March 13 at The Studio at Webster Hall with Choir Vandals, AJ Smith and Owel. Tickets for Webster are on sale now. All dates are listed below. Defeater also play Long Island in March with Title Fight, Pianos Become the Teeth and more (tickets).
As discussed, punk festival Skate & Surf is returning to Asbury Park on May 16 & 17 this year with a handful of great bands including Small Brown Bike, Beach Slang, The Front Bottoms, Modern Baseball, Manchester Orchestra, Dropkick Murphys and more. Now the festival's lineup has expanded and there's some pretty impressive additions including The Gaslight Anthem, American Nightmare, Pianos Become the Teeth, mewithoutYou, Kevin Devine, The So So Glos, Runaway Brother, Spraynard, NORA (also playing NateFest), Poison the Well (who went on hiatus in 2010, six years after current Sleigh Bells guitarist Derek Miller left the band), and more. Tickets are still available.
Updated lineup below...
photos by Mimi Hong
"Went to my first "show" in 85 I think. I have never seen adoration like the crowd and @TheFrontBottoms right now." - Craig Finn
The Front Bottoms poppin' champagne / TFB & friends / Tiny Moving Parts' crowd
The Front Bottoms and BrooklynVegan teamed up once again for the holidays this year, this time to present the Champagne Jam at all three rooms of Webster Hall on Sunday (12/21). TFB headlined the sold-out show in the Grand Ballroom, and their set in that room was prefaced by Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band and magician Magic Mike. Over in the Marlin Room, The So So Glos and Big Ups repped NYC punk, while GDP brought the alt-rap, and comedian Chris Gethard was there bringing jokes to a punk rock show (like last year). In the Studio, mathy emo was provided by Tiny Moving Parts and Prawn, and still even more artists played throughout the day. Brand New singer Jesse Lacey was in attendance, though not to perform with his frequent collaborator Kevin Devine. You Blew It! weren't billed, but members were attendance to perform with their past tourmates The Front Bottoms and their other past tourmates Prawn. Tiny Moving Parts and Kevin Devine joined TFB on stage during their set too. Pictures of the show are in this post.
More pictures and some videos below...
Asbury Park's Skate & Surf Festival returns in 2015 on May 16 & 17, and the initial lineup was just announced, via Property of Zack. There's some cool names this year, including Small Brown Bike, Beach Slang, The Front Bottoms, Modern Baseball, Manchester Orchestra, Dropkick Murphys, Dads, The Scandals, The Wonder Years and more (along with some less cool things like Atilla). Still more TBA too, but you can check out the full initial lineup below. Tickets go on sale at 8 PM today (12/18).
photos by Mimi Hong
You Blew It! / Spraynard
You Blew It! wrapped up a tour with Citizen last week which hit NYC at The Studio at Webster Hall. That Webster show was one day before the recently reactivated Spraynard came to NJ to open for Lifetime. Then, both You Blew It! and Spraynard teamed up for a show together in NJ at Hoboken's Stevens Institute of Technology on Thursday (10/16). Quality likeminded support at the show came from NJ locals Puddle Splasher. Pictures of all three are in this post.
Spraynard return to NJ to play one of the Bouncing Souls holiday show afterparties in December. They play the one on Saturday, December 27 at Asbury Lanes with fellow Philly band Cayetana (who also play the official BV CMJ showcase this week). That show starts at 11 PM, and is $8 at the door or $5 with a Souls ticket.
More pictures from the Hoboken show (you also may notice a few shots of Brian Sella of YBI!'s past tourmates The Front Bottoms in there) below...
Tickets for the BrooklynVegan-presented Champagne Jam holiday party taking over all three rooms of Webster Hall on December 21 with The Front Bottoms, Craig Finn, Kevin Devine, The So So Glos, Big Ups, Tiny Moving Parts, Prawn, a magician and more are on BrooklynVegan presale now. You can get yours using the PASSWORD: veganchampagne.
UPDATE: BROOKLYNVEGAN PRESALE PASSWORD HERE.
NJ's folk/pop/punks The Front Bottoms are teaming up with BrooklynVegan yet again to celebrate the holidays this year. Last year, it was a small show at Shea, but this year it's gonna be a much bigger affair called the Champagne Jam which takes over all three rooms of Webster Hall on Sunday, December 21. The Front Bottoms are playing the Grand Ballroom with Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band, The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn and magician Magic Mike. In The Marlin Room it's two NYC punk bands, The So So Glos and Big Ups, two alt-leaning rappers, Kitty and GDP, novelty rockers Baby Baby and Don Giovanni-signed comedian Chris Gethard. And in The Studio it's electronic musician Emperor X, two mathy emo bands, Tiny Moving Parts and Prawn, CT indie rockers The Guru, and Girl Spells, the new project of Adrianne Gold of Philly indie popsters Catnaps.
Tickets, which get you into all three rooms, go on sale Friday (9/26) at 10 AM. There's a BrooklynVegan presale starting Tuesday (9/23) at 10 AM and a Front Bottoms fan club presale starting Wednesday (9/24) at 10 AM. Check back here tomorrow morning for the BV presale password. The show's all ages (under 16 must be accompanied by a parent).
UPDATE: BROOKLYNVEGAN PRESALE PASSWORD HERE.
Check out a few videos from some of the artists playing, below...
Dr. Dog @ Mann Center - 9/13/14 (via @jool_ee)
On Saturday night, Dr. Dog treated us to an all-night party at the Mann Skyline Stage sharing the spotlight with Hop Along, The Front Bottoms, and Mac DeMarco. At first glance, this line-up sounds like it might not work but as proven by the end of the night, Dr. Dog is open to many sonic adventures, so it only makes sense that in their hometown, they took a chance and exposed their fan base to some music that may go against your average tour promoter's instincts.Pennsylvania rock shapeshifters Dr. Dog are fresh off an epic show in their home state that they played this past Saturday (9/13) at Philly's Mann Center with a seemingly weird but impressive lineup of guitar pop goofball Mac DeMarco, lyrical folk/pop punks The Front Bottoms, and Philly's own indie rock crew Hop Along. (Not to mention it was the second epic bill in a row at the Mann Center that weekend.) Anyone go? How was it?
As soon as the gates opened, many a hoodied 20-something rushed towards the front of the stage to get a good spot for the openers. Hop Along played for only 30 minutes but they made it count. The band played favorites from their last album, the amazing Get Disowned, the Shaking Through single "Sister Cities," and played two new songs that continue their trajectory to the greatest band I've heard since Throwing Muses blew my mind in the late-80's. No matter how many times I hear "Tibetan Pop Stars," it remains to me one of the most beautiful rock songs of the 2010's. [The Key]
Now that that's behind them, Dr. Dog have announced an EIGHT night run happening in NYC this January before they play My Morning Jacket's One Big Holiday in Mexico. The shows happen January 9-12 at Music Hall of Williamsburg and January 14-17 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday (9/19) at noon with AmEx and artist presales starting Wednesday (9/17) at noon. That run and the MMJ show are their only announced dates at the moment.
Flyer for the NYC shows, with videos of all four artists from the Philly show, below...
photos by James Richards IV, words by Zach Pollack & Milos Markicevic
Mineral / Patti Smith / Superchunk
Riot Fest Chicago wrapped up this past Sunday (9/14) with sets from The Cure, Weezer (playing Blue Album), Primus, Social Distortion, Cheap Trick (playing Heaven Tonight), Patti Smith, Mudhoney, Hot Snakes, Mineral, Lucero, Naked Raygun (playing Throb Throb), La Dispute, Superchunk, The Hold Steady, Kurt Vile, Bouncing Souls, The Front Bottoms, The Menzingers and many more.
I arrived at the final day of the festival to find New Jersey punk heroes The Bouncing Souls already on the Roots Stage, and NJ folk punks The Front Bottoms getting set to perform on the Rebel Stage. Having seen the former a few times, I went for the latter band and heard "Flashlight" as I approached the stage. Their early afternoon-yet-rabid crowd screamed the lyrics along to the song's stop-start chorus. The tongue-in-cheek Talon of the Hawk opener "Au Revoir (Adios)" came next, followed by mix of songs from that album and their 2011 self-titled LP. --ZP
Kurt Vile & The Violators were the next band I caught, over at the Riot Stage. Given that Sunday beared even better weather than Saturday had, opening with "Wakin on a Pretty Day" was an apt choice in full sun. The Violators proceeded to deliver a low-key and enjoyable set that touched on Wakin on a Pretty Daze, Smoke Ring for My Halo, and Childish Prodigy. After a bit of KV and co., I headed over to the Rebel Stage to catch The Hold Steady. The NYC crew kicked things off with "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You" from this year's Teeth Dreams, followed by the Boys and Girls in America favorite "Stuck Between Stations." The band flew by their usual M.O. -- flexing some muscle without coming off as too cheesy -- while pulling out tunes from their back catalog. --ZP
Next I went to catch Superchunk, and I arrived at the Riot Stage a bit prior to their set. In the meantime, I caught the last few songs of Billy Bragg's performance on the nearby Roots Stage. Before playing "The Milkman of Human Kindness," Bragg shared that he's out to become "the Pete Seegar of punk" and hopes to be performing into his 90s. He turned "There Is Power in a Union" into a sing-along and finished off with "A New England." Superchunk began with the No Pocky for Kitty tune "Cast Iron," followed by the one-two punch of "Digging For Something" and "FOH." It was back to No Pocky... for "Punch Me Harder," and then Mac asked the crowd to sing along during "Learned To Surf." "I'm gonna need you to repeat after me, in the age-old tradition of repeating after people on stage, he quipped. Their 11-song set came to a close with "Slack Motherfucker" into "Precision Auto." --ZP
Michigan post-hardcore crew La Dispute were up next at the far-from-everything Rock Stage. The four-piece were heavy on this year's great Rooms of the House, and began their 10-song set with "HUDSONVILLE, MI 1956," "Stay Happy There," and "First Reactions After Falling Through the Ice" from the LP falling within the first five they played. Their meditative grooves quickly won over the large crowd they had gathered at the stage. My next target after La Dispute was the Rise Stage, where whiskey-soaked Memphis crew Lucero would soon begin their late afternoon set. I only stuck around for a few songs, but I got to hear some of my favorites from the start, including "On My Way Downtown" into "Nights Like These." --ZP
La Dispute's crowd
After Lucero, it was back over to the Rock Stage for reunited Austin emo band Mineral. The band quietly took the stage and delivered an excellent set that was split evenly between their 1997 debut The Power of Failing and 1998's EndSerenading. Highlights included their heavier moments found within the brief "Five, Eight, & Ten," "For Ivadell," and "Gloria," and also the more subdued offerings like "Love Letter Typewriter." Mineral were one of the best emo bands out there, and it's great to see them return sounding great. --ZP
One of my most anticipated sets of the three-day fest was Patti Smith's 6PM performance on the Riot Stage. Patti was born in Chicago not all that far from the stage she occupied, and spoke about coming to the park with her mother as a very young child. She and her band opened with "Dancing Barefoot" into the Horses tune "Redondo Beach." A cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" came next, followed by "Pissing in a River." Along with a select few others, Patti Smith fully embodies the spirit of Riot Fest. --ZP
While Zach was over at Patti Smith on the Riot Stage, I was at the Rise Stage for Mudhoney. The grunge grandfathers ripped through their set and barely stopped to catch their breath. Drummer Dan Peters was a beast on drums throughout the set, and at one point the band even made way for a brief drum solo, bringing in the fuzz at the climax. You would think Mark Arm's vocal style would have wrecked his pipes after all these years but the guy sounded just as good as he did on the band's debut album. The definite highlight of set was the band's classic "Touch Me I'm Sick" which left everyone floored. --MM
If Patti Smith carries the ethos of Riot Fest, then Primus serve to represent the festival's large carnival presence. Les Claypool was transfixed on the ferris wheel he faced from the stage and spoke at length about how beautiful it was and how lucky they were to be performing near it. He later prompted guitarist Larry LaLonde to do a solo inspired by the wheel. Unlike when I saw them in 2013, Primus shed their jammy approach of late for the tighter feel of their early material. This shift was aided by stand-in timekeeper Danny Carey, who delivered a fast-handed, rigid performance. The trio opened with the Sailing the Seas of Cheese cut "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers," followed by the driving LP number "Here Come the Bastards." The tweaky Brown Album song "Over the Falls" was also played, as well as more favorites like "My Name Is Mud," and set endcap "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver." --ZP
Weezer were one of the albums billed to play a classic album (The Blue Album), but first they warmed up with some of their more recent singles, steadily going back in time with each song. The band played "Pork and Beans," "Beverly Hills," "Island In The Sun," "Hash Pipe," "El Scorcho" and others before getting to 1994, the year of The Blue Album. Everything prior to The Blue Album's performance felt like filler as everyone, including myself, sang along to every Blue Album song, most loudly to "Buddy Holly" which some fans begged to be played again. Weezer performed flawlessly while their stage lights bathed everyone in blue light, keeping in theme of the album's color. It was amazing seeing the band perform The Blue Album-- one of my favorite 90s albums-- in its entirety. I only wish they could've squeezed in Pinkerton right after. --MM
Riot Fest Chicago 2014 is set to take place from September 12-14 throughout Humboldt Park. The 10th anniversary of the festival features Jane's Addiction, Slayer, The Offspring, Pussy Riot (Nadya Tolokonnikova & Masha Alekhina), Mastodon, The Murder City Devils, Failure, Title Fight, The National, The Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan, Descendents, The Cure, Weezer, Social Distortion, Primus, Patti Smith, and many more across seven-stages. The fest has now shared daily lineups, which you can scope out at the bottom of this post. Three-day and two-day passes are still available, and single-day tickets are on sale now.
RFC 2014 daily lineups lie after the jump...
photos by Mimi Hong
Say Anything / The Front Bottoms / The So So Glos / You Blew It!
The Say Anything / Front Bottoms / So So Glos / You Blew It! tour hit NYC over the weekend for a sold-out Best Buy Theater show on Saturday (6/28). The headliners were supporting a new album which they played a few tracks from, but mostly split their discography pretty evenly including five from ...Is A Real Boy and early track "A Boston Peace."
Some pretty exciting openers were along for the tour, including lyrical acoustic punks The Front Bottoms who treated the crowd to favorites off last year's Talon of the Hawk and one off the just-released Rose EP (blow-up stage props included). Before that was power poppy punks The So So Glos who were back in their hometown of NYC for this show, and Florida's '90s emo devotees You Blew It! who focused mainly on this year's acclaimed Keep Doing What You're Doing.
Pictures of all four bands are in this post and continue below...
by Andrew Sacher
The Front Bottoms' new EP, Rose, comes out next week (6/17) via Bar/None and after revealing the lyric video for "Jim Bogart" the band have now released a second single, "Twelve Feet Deep," via SPIN. If you liked Talon of the Hawk, this one feels straight off that album (in a good way) with the very Front Bottoms lyric of "I get left out of every plan they make, that is what I have to do to be the only kid from high school who is still in love with you / And maybe college won't work out and I could come sleep on your couch..."
by Andrew Sacher
How many albums do you know of that feature guest appearances from two pioneers of emo, one of the finest vocalists in modern-day post-hardcore, two members of a certain Welsh indie pop collective, a shapeshifting art rocker, and one of the biggest pop punk frontmen of all time? Still counting? Well you can add the new Say Anything album, Hebrews (due out 6/10 via Equal Vision), to your list. Max Bemis & co.'s new album features the lead singers of The Get Up KIds, Braid, Touche Amore, Los Campesinos!, mewithoutYou and blink-182, not to mention The Front Bottoms, Manchester Orchestra, Saves the Day, Balance & Composure and still more. Oh, and don't forget Say Anything family members Eisley.
Hebrews is Say Anything's sixth full length album and second on Equal Vision since leaving their major label. And like most of their recent releases, it faces the potential doom of living in the shadow of 2004's ...Is A Real Boy. When that album came out (and even more so when it really broke in 2006 when J reissued it and "Alive with the Glory of Love" was released as a single), it came as a breath of fresh air for the pop punk/emo world which was largely in its unfortunate mallcore phase. To quote The Progress from that same year, it was just similar haircuts with different names. But ...Is A Real Boy, which was only vaguely pop punk or emo, broke from that mold while still being associated with it. The album combined the unconventional with the conventional, let no song by without various bridges and unpredictable changes, and was filled with unstoppable ambition. It makes sense that the veterans of the genre want to be on his new album but trash many other bands that came in their wake.
Anytime a breakthrough is that ambitious and that successful, following it up becomes a treacherous task, and audiences will judge every move you make. Max, always one to be self-aware (see "Admit It!!!"), ahem, admits it on the new album's track "Lost My Touch," which premieres in this post. "Some say I've lost my touch at crafting Say Anything songs," begins Max, before addressing younger musicians on how they can take his place: "Just string together lines of smug self-loathing bile." It sounds tongue-in-cheek but also incredibly earnest, a somber piano ballad version of what made the more aggressive "Admit It!!!" so compelling. And at the end of the song, he brings in Touche Amore frontman Jeremy Bolm to provide a very Touche Amore-like verse, the kind that anyone who's ever connected with TA's own piano ballad, "Condolences," should find rewarding. The great irony by the end of it is you realize Max has crafted a pretty damn good Say Anything song.
As previously mentioned, Say Anything is going on tour with some pretty great openers, The Front Bottoms (who have a new EP coming), The So So Glos and You Blew it!. That tour hits NYC on June 28 at Best Buy Theater. Tickets for that show are still available.
Song stream and LP tracklist below...