Ever wonder what it would be like to finally experience that 15 year old angsty teenage dream? Well last night the people of Dublin managed to do that with Bowling For Soup headlining at The Academy.
The night opened with London Pop Punk band The Bottom Line. The guys played a brilliant set that perfectly complimented Bowling For Soup’s signature style. They were both old school and modern and had a real strong presence on stage. The crowd reacted amazingly to them as got everyone stoked for the night.
We then welcomed to the stage the Nottingham based band Lacey. These guys sounded like Taking Back Sunday meets Alkaline Trio with some You Me At Six thrown in. The crowd went crazy with every song. They definitely knew how to keep the audience happy and their interaction made the performance all the more personal.
With two brilliant support bands setting the tone for the night, everyone was getting anxious to see Bowling for Soup. Then the lights dimmed and the familiar faces walked out on stage. They opened their set with the classic “The Bitch Song“. As soon as it kicked in the crowd were singing along to every word; something that would occur with every song on the setlist. From the beginning the guys built a nice rapport with the audience. It felt as though we were having a party with the band as opposed to being mere spectators.
The next song was the teenage classic “High School Never Ends”. This song was bound to get a big reaction, which it rightly did. The band played so comfortably with one another that it gave the entire set a real chilled vibe, despite the majority of the songs being ‘sing your heart out’ anthems. Jaret’s vocals were as polished as ever and the entire band played perfectly with one another.
Their setlist was varied between older classics and songs from their new album Drunk Dynasty, released only 3 days prior to the Dublin gig. One track that immediately stuck out for me was “Hey Diane“. With its heavy guitar riffs, extensive cymbal use and humorous lyrics it was as though we were listening to a song from 2005. The band have never lost that style that the fans love.
Later on in the show the guys played a cover that none of us were expecting; Fountains of Wayne’s Stacey’s Mom. It could have easily been a Bowling For Soup song as they put their identifiable stamp on it and made it their own. Yet again, the crowd was going crazy singing along and jumping around.
The band finished their flawless set with the ultimate Bowling for Soup song “1985“. This was, in my opinion, the best song they could have finished with. We were reminded throughout the entire show why we fell in love with the band but “1985” embedded the fact their songs are anthems for a reason. Everyone was able to sing their hearts out alongside the band and have fun while doing it.
Throughout the set the guys were constantly having banter with each other and included the crowd in their jokes; even celebrating Lacey guitarist Pete’s birthday mid-set as he was on stage. The entire show was fun and relaxed. The entire night was exactly what was expected; it was fantastic music with class craic.