Live Review: The Front Bottoms - The Waterfront, Norwich 25/02/2018

Last week, we went over to The Waterfront in Norwich to catch American indie-rock band The Front Bottoms on the last stretch of their UK tour. Along with them they brought Australian rock band The Smith Street Band, and American indie-rock band Brick + Mortar. With a similarity in musical styles, this made for a really well put together night, and one that the audience went wild for.

Being first on stage is always a hard task, but Brick + Mortar brought so much energy and had such a big crowd already, that they made it look easy. Making use of props, fancy dress and big signs with their lyrics on, they really managed to interact with the crowd and create a unique and memorable performance. Props came in the form of nipple tassels all the way to a big balloon filled with little notes and the words ‘Terrible Things’ on the balloon; the title of one of their older songs released in 2013. The band also made some quick outfit changes in between songs, so quick that I hadn’t even realised it was happening till suddenly a band member was dressed as a pill bottle as they sang ‘One Little Pill’. The performance definitely kept the audience on their toes to say the least.

Brick + Mortar - The Waterfront - 25/02/2018

Next up came The Smith Street Band. Again, they brought just as much energy to the stage but in a much different way, with the lead singer displaying so much emotion on stage which captivated the audience. Opening with ‘Death to the Lads’ from their latest album released last year, this had the audience singing along from the get go. Another favourite for the crowd to sing along to was ‘Young Drunk’, played alongside tracks such as ‘Surrender’ and slower track ‘It Kills Me to Have to Be Alive’, which had the room in silence as we saw raw emotion come from the performance.

The Smith Street Band - The Waterfront - 25/02/2018

As The Front Bottoms hit the stage, the crowd were filled with excitement. Opening with ‘Skeleton’, they started as they meant to go on, and that seemed to be with a lot of older songs, and not that many newer tracks which was surprising considering they released their last album ‘Going Grey’ late last year. However, this seemed to be a great way to go as this meant everyone knew the lyrics to the songs they played. Judging from the tracks they played, they chose what they knew the crowd would love the most which included tracks like ‘Au Revoir - Adios’, ‘Twin Size Mattress’, ‘Plum’, ‘Flashlight’ and ‘Maps’, alongside newer tracks like ‘Peace Sign’ and ‘Vacation Town’. The venue itself was almost filled to the brim as they played, so it was good to see they had a good turnout and were close to selling out, as they’ve made a big name for themselves over the past few years.

The Front Bottoms - The Waterfront - 25/02/2018

Photography and Review by Hayley Fearnley