On Tuesday, November 7th, New Jersey-based indie rock band The Front Bottoms headlined a packed show at The Wiltern Theatre located in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The band released its sixth studio album Going Grey mid-October, so fans were excited to hear the new songs live. Just as expected, the band began its set with the new album’s opener “Used to Say (Holy Fuck)”. And from there the band played a full 21-song set, a majority of the tracks from the newest release and their 2013 Talon Of The Hawk.
Most concerts host a core group of day-one-fans who know most songs, and usually the entire crowd sings the one with the most radio play, but this show was in its own league: no audience member missed a single word. It makes sense though, considering TFB’s most unique draw are its witty and emotional lyrics and lead singer Brian Sella's unique voice that enunciated every syllable. It was clear that the audience truly connected to these songs that they belted out. And it is no coincidence that The Front Bottoms are signed to Fueled By Ramen, the same label as Twenty One Pilots, who also have passionate fans.
The way fans connected to these songs was also interesting. The Front Bottoms definitely does not hold back with its often depressing and dysfunctional imagery in its songs. For example, during the show, Sella proclaimed that the next song was about “drowning someone you’ve been in love with for a really long time.” The songs are sad, but playful, and it’s clear the band doesn’t take itself too seriously. This leads to a close-knit community in the crowd, who smiled and sang to each other, proving that these sad songs are about moving on and improving, not harping on the past.
Very grateful to its fans, Sella thanked The Wiltern concertgoers multiple times for coming out the the show. Most entertaining was their final encore. Throughout the show, an excited and impatient fan kept yelling for TFB to play “Ocean,” Going Grey’s closing track. At one point Sella even addressed her and assured her that they would play the song at some point. Sure enough, for its encore the band invited the same girl to sit on a couch onstage with the band as Sella played an acoustic version of her requested song. Needless to say, she lost it on stage when she wasn’t taking selfies with the band. It was great to see the group turn a nagging fan, an element that is often an annoying aspect of playing a live show, into a really fun and entertaining situation. Overall it was a great performance and a show that you shouldn’t miss. If you’re not a fan now, you will be after seeing them live.
Catch The Front Bottoms as they continue on tour here.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.