A last minute decision found me at a sold out gig at the Birmingham O2 Academy 2 waiting to see three bands that I had never seen before, although I was familiar with the headlining band, Patent Pending. Having not seen any of these bands before I waited with an open mind for the evening of music to begin.
The first band to play was Lacey. I struggled to get into their set and found their songs a little “samey” and, although they clearly had a few loyal fans there to support them, I didn’t feel that they got the crowd worked up enough as, in my opinion, an opening act should. However when they were joined on stage by Joe Ragosta of Patent Pending it really got the crowd going.
Next up were People on Vacation and, with Jaret Reddick from Bowling For Soup fronting the band, they got an immediate positive reaction. Anybody familiar with Bowling For Soup could see that Jaret had his usual stage presence, delivering anecdotes and juvenile (but funny) jokes. Although I didn’t dislike this band I did feel it was all about Jaret, and the fact that I could barely hear the bands other vocalist, Ryan Hamilton, just added to that feeling. Again bringing Bowling For Soup into the performance they sang ‘The Bitch Song’ much to the enjoyment of the crowd and myself. People On Vacation managed to keep the crowd happy, involved and entertained, especially during the song ‘Lonely Fish’, but, in all honesty, for what they are I would have prefered to have just seen Bowling For Soup.
After a short wait, Patent Pending took to the stage. From the moment they stepped out they were full of energy which got the room buzzing. During their set they provided amusing banter between band members, interacted with the crowd and got everyone involved. On a couple of occasions they made it even more intimate, chatting one to one with a member of the audience. Just one example of interaction saw the crowd split into two and Joe (vocals) & Corey (bass) take part in the crowd swimming olympics. If you haven’t seen this before, said band members don their goggles and basically have a crowd surfing race from the back of the room back to the front, with the winner being the first one to get back to the stage; in this case it was Joe, who wasn’t gloating at all about winning… *wink wink* – very amusing!
A couple of other stand-out moments were when they performed ‘Anti- Everything’ which involves a pop boy-band style dance routine, and of course seeing them perform ‘Hey Mario’ where they got the crowd to jump on the classic coin collecting sound effect. Amongst the laughing and the jokes Patent Pending did deliver a serious message about depression. During their song, ‘One Less Heart To Break’ they had explained this was a song close to their heart as it was written about a friend who had committed suicide. Even with the sad meaning and serious message they managed to keep upbeat and energetic, not losing the crowd’s enthusiasm at any point.
Overall, Patent Pending delivered a fun, energy packed, spot on show and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for them when they return to the UK in ‘the fall’.
People on Vacation:
I Get You
Bitch Song (Cover)
You May Not Believe In God
Prettiest Girl In The World
Where Do We Go
Because Of The Sun
Cum On Feel The Noize (Cover)
I Already Know (She Don’t Give a Shit About Me)
Falling Out Of Love
Party Hard (Cover)
Psycho In Love
We’re Freakin’ Out (Map to Tahiti)
The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief
Spin Me Around
Shakeweights and Moving Crates
Dance Til We Die
Once Less Heart To Break
There Was A Time
Photos: Shaz Rafferty
Review: Gemma Bywater