The Front Bottoms in Pittsburgh – September 24, 2023
The Front Bottoms launched their first major tour of the year back in August, and it made a stop at the Stage AE in Pittsburgh on Sunday night. Touring in support of their new album release, You Are Who You Hang Out With – their first album in three years – they were joined by the Vundabar to open the show.
First up was the Boston-based indie rock band. They had a relatively short set, but there was a sizable portion of the crowd that were very excited for their performance. They jumped and sang along to songs like “Acetone,” “Ash In the Sun,” and “Darla.” Frontman Brendon Hagen controlled attention on the stage with his aggressive guitar playing and jerky dance moves. A few scattered mosh pits formed as the opening notes to their final song, “Alien Blues,” rang out, and the entire crowd cheered as the final notes of the song faded away and they left the stage.
The Front Bottoms
You Are Who You Hang Out With, the sixth full length album from The Front Bottoms was released this past August, and the aptly named You Are Who You Hang Out With tour launched shortly after the album release. The band took the stage to a big cheer and applause, and quickly launched into the fast paced opening notes to “Be Nice to Me.” The frantic lyrics and rapid guitar strums are very emblematic for the band as a whole, and the band has a remarkable ability to sound very similar to their recorded work. Particularly, Brian Sella’s vocals – well-known for sounding very raw, and sometimes even almost distressed – translate amazing to the live scene, one of the many reason the band has grown a dedicated fanbase over the years.
They followed with “Emotional,” the opening song from their latest album release. While still holding true to the raw, emotional feel of their older tracks, the introduction of synth and some auto-tune give it an almost modern feel to their earliest albums. From there, the band alternated between their newer and older songs, and it was apparent the crowd was partial to their older songs. Songs like “Wolfman,” “Maps,” and “Au Revoir (Adios),” got a lot of positive feedback and the crowd singing along. Nonetheless, the crowd still appreciated the newer songs, like “Paris,” “Vacation Town,” and “bus beat,” and still sang along.
The band performed a few other songs of their most recent album, including “Outlook,” “Batman,” and “Punching Bag.” However, they made sure to keep the older fans happy with callbacks to their first two albums with songs like “Peach,” “Flashlight,” and “The Beers.” During their performance of “The Beers,” a number of fans attempted to crowd-surf to the front of the stage as Sella aggressively strummed his guitar and yelled the lyrics at the crowd.
They finished the regular portion of the show with “leaf pile,” before returning to the stage after a few minutes. Sella came back to perform “12 Feet Deep,” solo, an emotional ode to a lover going off to college before the band rejoined him on stage to perform “2YL,” and their most popular song, “Twin Size Mattress.” Numerous fans moshed and crowd surfed during the song, and the crowd gave a raucous applause when the final notes ended and the band thanked everyone for coming out.