How I got into THAT Band: The Front Bottoms
By: Mary Lynn Ritch
I was invited to see The Front Bottoms last summer at the Drunken Unicorn. I paid $10 and had no idea who the band was. To my surprise, The Front Bottoms were pretty amazing and I immediately listened to the band’s whole discography when I got back from that show.
For some lame reason, The Front Bottoms were placed in the back of my mind as the year progressed until my friend invited me to go to the Say Anything headlining show at the Masquerade in Atlanta on Friday, June 20. Since I absolutely love Say Anything, and knew about The Front Bottoms, I thought I should go.
I’m not going to going to go into too much detail about how amazing Say Anything was and how you should pick up the new album Hebrews or how the band is still as relevant as it was when “Say Anything….is a Real Boy” was released back in the day. I’m going to go into detail about one of your hipster friend’s best-kept secret—one of Say Anything’s opening acts, The Front Bottoms.
After You Blew it and The So So Glos played full sets, the stage was set for The Front Bottoms with three plastic inflatable T, F, and B letters. The letters were inflated almost immediately and the crew hit the stage opening with its biggest hit, “Maps.” The crowd went crazy.
The Front Bottoms have a unique sound that is hard to describe, but from my perspective the band reminds me of an folk/punk beach party.
Throughout the set, Brian Sella and company took sips of champagne and maneuvered around inflatable letters. Towards the end, the inflatable letters were accompanied by arm waving tube men inflatables, like the ones you see at car dealerships. I was surprised at how skilled the band was at dodging those, especially while playing instruments and drunk in the sweltering heat due to a broken air conditioner.
The band played 10 songs and the biggest highlight for me was the closing song, “Twin Size Mattress.” It was played live with such intensity that it is felt through the crowd and I jumped around with the best of them.
After the show, my friend wanted to meet The Front Bottoms and we waited around for a bit before she spotted drummer Matthew Uychich at the merch table. The three of us talked for a while, and I felt bad that I couldn’t admit that I owned or knew of many Front Bottoms songs, so he took out $5 from his wallet and helped my friend and I purchase one of his records. The band is also obsessed with pets so he asked us if we owned one. We both said yes and showed him pictures. Then, he signed our merch and took a selfie with my friend.
All in all, I was surprised at how talented the band is while seeming so personable. The members reminded me of those talented friends you have who are the life of every party and just enjoy having fun. Although I would hate to sell my soul to Satan to afford to see The Front Bottoms at the Philips Arena, I couldn’t think of a more deserving group that should have success. I think they will.