Review: The Front Bottoms – O2 ABC, Glasgow – 21st November 2016

Hot off the heels of a support slot on Brand New’s American tour, The Front Bottoms returned to the UK this month for their biggest headline tour this side of the Atlantic. The third night of this tour found the New Jersey four-piece in Glasgow’s O2 ABC.

First to hit the stage were London’s Apologies, I Have None (★★★) who faced the opener’s plight – playing in a large venue while the crowd is still making it’s way through the doors. The band tried their best to lift the energy of the crowd throughout their set, but unfortunately it wasn’t until the huge screaming guitar outro of A Pharmacy In Paris that they stopped feeling like just a warm-up for the second support.

As Gnarwolves (★★★★) walked on stage to do a quick line-check, the dancefloor had filled up nicely and chants of “Gnarwolves Cru! Fuck You!” echoed around the ABC. The trio didn’t waste any time and got straight in to a set full of songs from as far back as the CRU EP. Similarly, the crowd didn’t waste time and by second song Smoking Kills, security were rushing to get crowd surfers over the barrier. As singer/guitarist Thom Weeks announced the next song was History Is Bunk, fans erupted.

Gnarwolves always bring a great show to the stage, where they seem like they never stop having fun. From drummer Max Weeks pouring himself a pint while playing, to Thom asking for a human pyramid while he played the Eastenders theme tune, tonight was definitely a night to have fun. Gnarwolves looked as though they’d never want to be anywhere but on that stage at that time, playing to that audience as they closed the set with Limerence.

Before The Front Bottoms (★★★★★) hit the stage, their impressive set up was revealed. Mood lamps, a sofa, and even an old CRT television gave their biggest headline UK tour an intimate house show feeling. A quick look around and it felt that the ABC seemed to shrink as even more fans of the headliners took to the dancefloor, and The Front Bottoms’ house party set up couldn’t distract from the scale of this tour.

The headliners kicked off their set with Skeleton and almost instantly the entire audience was singing along. The band tore through a massive set that included West Virginia, The Plan (Fuck Jobs) and a GDP-less Historic Cemetery, as well as some older fan favourites such as The Beers and Swimming Pool from their 2011 self-titled album. Keeping up the night’s feeling of pure unadulterated fun, singer Brian Sella annouced “this is the show I was most excited for!”

The Front Bottoms ended their set on Talon Of The Hawk’s Twin Size Mattress while their fans sang along, danced and crowd-surfed. It didn’t take long, though, for the band to return to stage for their encore. As the crowd chanted “One more tune” singer Brian teased “How about two?” before playing Maps and Laugh Till I Cry. This still wasn’t enough for Glasgow, so Brian obliged and performed a solo version of Twelve Feet Deep to close out the night.

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