I found The Front Bottoms at the end of 2012 through a Tumblr post featuring “Maps” – off their self-titled album – and a youtube video. The video, a hilarious and awkward bathtub interview Brian and Mat did with Critical Wave UK, showcased their down-to-earth, relatable, goofy personalities. Six years later, seeing them perform live for the first time, you can tell they’re the same dudes just hanging out on a bigger platform selling out shows.
Going Grey took Front Bottoms music in a new direction with an intro to 80’s pop synths that seem to be everywhere you turn in the alternative scene today. The band has been a three-piece since 2012 but this tour featured an additional rhythm guitarist, violinist, and keyboardist creating a more traditional, fuller sound than the stripped-down, acoustic sound they are known for. The new layered sound felt fresh and the crowd responded well. Luckily, some things didn’t change, like Brian Sella’s signature voice and folk-like lyrics.
The show I attended was in November, a month after their album Going Grey was released but the fans knew every word. For a generation used to playlists and singles, Front Bottom’s bite-sized songs seem more palatable and allow fans to consume the entire record. The band’s performance was tight, easily drifting between their new sound and songs from previous albums.
Highlights: Skelton, Peace Sign, Peach, Twin Size Mattress, and that song that captured my attention five years ago – Maps.
Laura is a native St. Louisan living in Austin and giving you the front row view by photographing your favorite artists.