On Saturday, Sept. 20, The Front Bottoms continued their 2014 summer tour in Ithaca, playing an animated and powerful show at The Haunt. Their gripping 80 minute set focused on songs from previous albums, mainly on their 2013 record, Talon Of The Hawk, as well as some hits from their newest album, Rose.
The Front Bottoms are an American acoustic pop-punk band from New Jersey that began in 2007, including Brian Sella (vocals/guitar), Mathew Uychich (drums), Tom Warren (bass/vocals) and Ciaran O’Donnel (trumpet/guitar/keyboard). Since then, they have released four studio albums and produced four EPs. They have toured with familiar bands in the scene, including The Menzingers and Brand New, and played at popular concert festivals including Reading, Leeds, Bestival and Riot Fest. The Front Bottoms are known for their angst-filled lyrics with an emotional and poignant sound.
After Del Paxton opened, an indie-rock band from Buffalo, New York, and The Front Bottoms came on stage, massive letters spelling out the band’s name appeared behind them and neon lights flashed wildly as the group started off with their hit, “Flashlight” from their self-titled album. The Haunt was packed, with audience members hardly able to move fluidly. The crowd went insane as they swayed back and forth, screaming along to recognizable lyrics.
The beginning of the set featured their other well-known hits, such as “Funny You Should Ask” and “Bathtub,” holding lyrics alluding to the struggles within relationships, self-identity and depression.
“This song we’re about to play…My dad told me we should stop playing it completely,” Sella said, before performing “Father,” which begins with a violent lyrics and features a trumpet solo by O’Donnell. “Yeah, we’re going to play it anyway.”
From the first strike of the chords to “The Beers,” the crowd sang along as various fans crowd-surfed with energy. The energy in The Haunt was wild, while suddenly, bubbles surrounded the spectators. One confident fan managed to surf to the stage, sing along with Sella and was reluctantly pulled off by security.
“We paid $600 for that bubble machine,” Sella joked to the audience as he pointed to the contraption in front of the bar. “That is all for you guys.”
“Swimming Pool,” a calming and somewhat sensitive song, expressed the difficulties with holding onto someone for a long period of time.
The liveliness of the venue continued as the band played “Maps,” a tune that brought about their popularity back in 2011. The favorite tune kept the fans’ enthusiasm going as the band transitioned into the set-closer “Au Revoir.”
After wrapping up their set with the fitting tune, the band announced they would come out to play three more songs by demand of the crowd. The Front Bottoms began the encore with the delicate and passionate “Twelve Feet Deep.”
Ryan Malloy, a committed fan at the show, expressed that, “Twelve Feet Deep”
is his favorite song. “This is my third time seeing them in concert and it’s still just such an intimate song that anyone can relate to,” he says.
The band ended their encore at The Haunt with the ever-entertaining “Twin Sized Mattress,” widely considered the greatest song produced by the group thus far.
“I loved the closing with, “Twin Sized Mattress,” Michelle Hau, Ithaca College Student and fellow concert-goer said. “It’s the song that everyone in the room wanted to hear, and we were all having a great time moshing around. When Brian was performing, it was like seeing a friend play.”
Overall, the talent and effort was so evident within every song The Front Bottoms played. The size of the audience itself expressed their skills. From the unique sound of Sella’s vocals to the giant trumpet solos, The Front Bottoms isn’t a band to miss out on.
At the show, The Front Bottoms announced they would start writing music for a new album after their next and final show in Canada.