Jaret Reddick @ o2 Institute, 15 September 2018

Heartache and Hilarity was an acoustic tour which saw Bowling for Soup’s front man Jaret Reddick express raw emotion as he shared with us the origins of his songs before playing them for us. Having been a band for near on 25 years Bowling for Soup have many songs, so its hardly surprising that only 12 months after seeing Jaret on his solo tour he has returned with Heartache and Hilarity Too.

This tour was kicked off by Scuzz T.V. presenter and former Kerrang Radio DJ Matt Stocks. He got the crowd excited for his friend Jaret, letting us know that we were in for a treat. Jaret took his seat on the stage (where he remained for the entire show) and in true Jaret Reddick style started by joking and making us laugh letting us know that it was ok that his jokes were aimed at his weight because he was telling them!

During the first story about the album ‘Drunk Enough to Dance’, a fan called out that a crowd member had collapsed. Security rushed to the aid of that person and Jaret checked he was good to continue; even amidst the drama, he managed to keep the crowd focused on the show as he played ‘Life After Lisa’. Having always been a music fan, Jaret wrote his first song when he was 12, he informed us that the song was about a bitch…no not ‘that’ song he chuckled, this was a song called ‘Cold Hearted Bitch’ before reciting the lyrics to us which involved rhyming witch and bitch and ended by shaking his head and joking that the song “Did not do well”. I think it’s safe to say that following the recital of the song lyrics a majority of us were expecting The Bitch Song to follow however he went on to play ‘Dance with you’.

Presumably most of the people in the crowd have seen Bowling for Soup play live so when Jaret stopped playing during ‘All Figured Out’ to listen to a heckler who was telling him to drink, we all knew what he meant; at this point during a Bowling for Soup set Jaret would have the band continue playing whilst he drank his alcoholic beverage. Since he didn’t have his band with him tonight he asked the crowd to hum the guitar music and he proceeded to drink. This would have seemed like absolute nonsense to anyone who had no background knowledge of the band but since we all knew what was happening it was all laughter and fun. As the majority of the crowd were long time fans, Jaret had enlisted the help of a local tattooist that would give anyone that wanted one, a BFS tattoo before the gig. When asked how many he had tattooed today, he replied ‘9’. This shows the dedication of the crowd watching tonight’s show.

Over the years Jaret has gained a significant amount of weight due to depression which he makes no secret of and although he does joke about himself, after reading horrible comments online about his weight gain he took the time to talk to us on a serious note and to impress the important message that i fanyone says anything derogatory about you then “Fuck Them! they don’t know your life, they don’t know what you have been through and their comments do not matter and that no one, not a single person is perfect”.

Jaret was not alone for his entire set, he was joined by James the cellist and then later, Kelly from The Dollyrots for two songs. The first was ‘Love ya Love ya Love ya’ a song that we had heard before and that some of us will have seen them perform together in the past. The second song was’ Here We Go’ from their new duet album ‘Sitting’ In A Tree’.

After a lot of chatter and banter, we were at the end of the night and Jaret finished on a real high with the song that landed Bowling for Soup a record deal and that got them noticed in the UK ‘Girl All the Bad Guys Want’

This tour was definitely more hilarity than heartache and we look forward to seeing Jaret again in November/December for Bowling for Soup’s next UK tour.


Reviewers: Shaz Rafferty and Gemma Bywater

Photographer: Shaz Rafferty


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