This post is one of a series, where Fawkes Contributors anticipate Music Festival Season by tracking the hottest festivals on the East Coast: Boston Calling, Firefly Music Festival, Governor’s Ball, and Shaky Knees Gotta Catch ‘Em All!
2015 was quite the year for our boys. Brian Sella and Mat Uychich, who saw their DIY garageband certainly take off. After signing onto their first major label in Fueled By Ramen, releasing their third studio album, Back on Top, and making their Late Night TV debut, The Front Bottoms have found themselves on a plethora of music festival lineups one of them being Boston Calling. Not bad for a pop punk revival band from New Jersey.
The Front Bottoms are right smack in the middle of this lineup, set right in between Elle King and BORNS. These two acts have both experienced Top 40 success, which only speaks to the burgeoning popularity of the band. If you have ever been to a Front Bottoms show, it is easy to be cautiously optimistic about this newfound mainstream acclaim. Don’t tell anyone this, but Back On Top peaked at 32 on the Billboard Top 200 which TECHNICALLY makes it a Top 40 album. All the traditionalist TFB fans are livid about this and immediately ran back to the self-released albums recorded in a Woodcliff Lake basement. Don’t get me wrong – I was almost one of them. But if you listen to this album as a music fan and a Front Bottoms fanatic, it will almost bring a tear to your eye. They made a professional album without losing any of the awkward fun that their folk-punk sound presents. Back on Top did not stop The Front Bottoms from continuing to put on incredibly fun shows, just like they used to before signing onto a major label.
But what about them playing at City Hall Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts? This is a huge space, a much larger venue than The Front Bottoms have ever played before. This is not a tiny room where they can see how many uncomfortable emo kids they can pack into one space. This is a music festival. I went to Boston Calling last year where I saw Beck put on the best live performance I have ever seen. The Front Bottoms will now be on that same stage. How will they handle it? Only time will tell but, I have said it before: The Front Bottoms can handle popularity. All that is left to do is wait impatiently to see Brian Sella bring the same electricity we have seen before, but this time it will just happen to be on the biggest stage The Front Bottoms have ever seen.
By Beau “Pink” Vincent Santomero