Tonight, Nottingham’s Rock City is deservedly packed out for one of the biggest Presidents of the United States of America shows on their current tour.
Up first however are The Front Bottoms; one of the most rapidly growing bands around right now. The hype is certainly well deserved as these guys never disappoint live. Starting out with Skeleton off latest release Talon of the Hawk the loyal fans down the front sing along to every word while Rock City starts to fill up.
The band’s happiness on stage is a big part of their charm, with lead singer Brian Sella’s infectious smile winning over the huge venue. Songs like The Beers and Flashlight o down a treat with catchy choruses, while Twin Size Mattress’s huge ending rounds out the set perfectly. This is a band that is only going from strength to strength.
For an older band like The Presidents of the United States of America, taking out a band like The Front Bottoms, who are young and gaining momentum, there’s always the risk of being overshadowed. However, as soon as PUSA start it’s clear that the two bands are a perfect match and compliment each other well with their fun lyrics and lack of seriousness.
Opening with their cover of Kick Out the Jams and then blasting through hit after hit the long set goes by in a flash. Songs like Lump, Dune Buggy and Back Porch get great receptions but even songs from new record Kudos to You! go down well too, and lead singer Chris Ballew takes every opportunity to plug the album – in a joking manner, of course.
Ballew’s banter is on top form tonight, even getting the crowd to tie his shoelace when it comes undone, then later inviting “t-shirt models” wearing the band’s new merch on stage to do a catwalk.
The band end the set with Mach 5 and Peaches which get the whole crowd singing and jumping. The 21 songs go by in a blur, and it feels like they’ve covered every part of their discography, but they come back out for an encore and treat us to Video Killed the Radio Star before rounding off the night by playing Kick Out the Jams – again! It’s clear the band are in their element headlining and filling such a huge venue that they don’t want the night to end, adding about 5 verses to the track before finally playing the outro in the crowd.
After a fun night at Rock City, it’s clear that PUSA are still on form and shouldn’t be missed, while The Front Bottoms are a band to watch out for.
Review – Max Quayyum
Photo – Alina Shanin