The Front Bottoms played in Baton Rouge for the first time on Friday night. This stop was midway through the band’s latest Back on Top tour with Diet Cig and Brick and Mortar as support. Fans lined the block outside of the Varsity for hours in hopes of getting a good spot to see these boys from New Jersey. The Front Bottoms are known for their on stage verve and energetic crowds. This show was no different.
Diet Cig started out the show. They are a New York-based pop punk duo with Alex Luciano on lead vocals and guitar and Noah Bowman on drums. Diet Cig was a powerhouse of energy as soon as they took the stage. Luciano’s singing voice may be sweet, but her stage presence had just the right amount of bite. She utilized the entire stage with her running high kicks and climbing on top of the speakers. The crowd fed off of their energy so well, and it was a wonderful start to the night.
Next up was Brick and Mortar from New Jersey. This trio could only be described as art rock in every sense of the term. A projector at the front of the stage played all of their music videos in perfect sync with their set. The animations and psychedelic imagery didn’t necessarily fit in with their sound, but melded together wonderfully with their stage show. They fit in as much audience interaction as they could, and they were brilliant at it. There was dance breaks, balloons filled with confetti and crowd surfing on an air mattress. Their high energy performance and upbeat, positive songs made those watching forget they were at a Front Bottoms show for a few moments.
Of course, that changed quickly as soon as The Front Bottoms finally started their set. The band took the stage while Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” played in the background. They then immediately went into their upbeat track “Skeleton” from their sophomore album Talon of the Hawk. The crowd instantaneously began singing along to every word. The energy in the room was electric. The set list was beautifully constructed and had a nice variation. Of course, they played songs from their three major releases, but songs from their Rose EP and their split EP with rap group GDP were also included for a great blend of old and new. They even went off set and played one of their more emotional tracks “Swimming Pool.”
This set combined with bubble machines, their signature on stage inflatables and overall positive aura made for such a fun filled night. When they closed out the show with their major track “Twin Sized Mattress,” it was even more obvious that they chose the right bands to come on tour to support them. During the final moments of the song, Diet Cig and Bick and Mortar came back out to dance, crowd surf and leave the crowd with something even more memorable than the rest of the show. The entire concert also made it very clear that The Front Bottoms have cultivated a positive and uplifting community that support their music. Everyone was just there to have a good time and be with people who relate to The Front Bottom’s music as much as they do.