By Erin Hussey:
New Jersey based indie-punk outfit The Front Bottoms have moved from selling out venues across the country to making their first rounds in the music festival scene, beginning with the closing day of Boston Calling. The Front Bottoms are notable for their easy-going charisma and intimacy created at their shows and they did not disappoint the fans packed into Boston City Hall Plaza. The guys were welcomed with cheers as soon as they emerged on stage. College kids and early 20 somethings decked in flannels and fan merchandise had built up against the stage long before The Front Bottoms scheduled set.
Blue beach balls bopped around as the band jumped into 2013 favorite, “Skeleton,” the perfect riff fueled introduction to warm up the crowd. Fans eagerly belted out every lyric along with front man Brian Sella, and only continued to do so as the set progressed. One had difficulty ignoring the evident joy on Sella’s face in the moments he looked into the crowd. The pace picked up intensely with “HELP,” as Sella urged the crowd “Help / You are the poison I need less of inside my body / Help”. Sella’s quivering voice came with a certain whine ideal for conveying the array of relentless emotions that accompanies The Front Bottoms narrative, along with their slightly uncomfortable lyricism.
Amongst killer bass solos, impromptu instrumental interludes and wacky flailing inflatable tube men, the band shuffled between older songs and recent releases off their 2015 album, Back on Top. Notable favorites included “West Virginia”, “Plastic Flowers”, “Maps” and “Au Revoir”.
Though they continued with an ever-growing fan base, drummer Matt Ulyrich and Sella remain as simple guys, pausing to say, “It really is an honor to be playing with such incredible acts and musicians. We always have fun every time we come to Boston, you always make us feel like that.”
The final song came as no surprise to many, as they closed with the iconic, “Twin Size Mattress”, a song that encompasses everything vital to The Front Bottoms. Sella’s talk-sing delivery of caustic lyrics, frantic drumming, and the thumping strum of an acoustic guitar left those at Boston Calling on top of the world.