Review: Bowling For Soup – O2 Academy, Bristol

Bowling For Soup/The Dollyrots/Lacey/MC Lars – O2 Academy, Bristol 15 Feb 2016

Bowling For Soup. One of those names that you get the reaction, “Oh yeah, I remember those guys. They did ‘Stacy’s Mom’, right?”. Well, they’re back and on tour in the UK. This tour was one I was certainly not going to miss, so I made my way to Bristol’s O2 Academy for a night of the finest throwbacks.

Opening tonight’s antics was MC Lars. Now, I can’t say I’ve seen anything quite like MC Lars. Rapping his way through 3 tracks including the crowd were somewhat, amused? Certainly not what they were expecting, but nonetheless, gave a fairly tame audience a bit of amusement. This wouldn’t be the last we would see of MC Lars tonight, I was sure.

Next up were Lacey, our UK representatives. They were brilliant. A great set that clearly captured the audience’s attention, with many fans singing along to the track. For a band with a relatively small following, they we more than worthy of a support slot on the tour, and provided a much more British rock style in comparison to the other bands on the bill. A much more fitting act for tonight’s lineup, and one that I would highly recommend watching on their UK tour in June.

Right… as rumour had it, MC Lars was to have three sets tonight. Three tracks between each song. This became true and the crowd sat back for another fifteen minutes of hit and miss humour. Playing songs like ‘The Gigantic Robot Kills’, and ‘Download This Song’, he made his re appearance to a somewhat unamused audience. To some extent mocking him by the end of the performance. Hopefully his third appearance would make a more positive impression.

With three sets left tonight, we make our way to The Dollyrots. Now, this was a performance not to miss. The sound was great. They’re not to my personal taste, but it certainly sounded big in the O2, which is a difficult task. On what was a male orientated night, it was great to see a band with a female majority. Particularly taking note of the drummer, those skins certainly got a thrashing. Playing ‘Twist To The Left’ and ‘Get Weird’, the band certainly lightened the mood on what was a relatively uneventful night so far.

Now this was his last appearance before Bowling For Soup, and MC Lars had a lot of making up to do, so he sang a song about Game Of Thrones, ‘Dragon Blood’, a track that had metal horns turned into dragons, hands in the air, and crowd participation. Considering his previous sets, MC Lars seemed to be redeeming himself. Definitely my favourite track of the night, and a good time to pull it out of the bag. Next up, Bowling For Soup.

As throwbacks go, this has got to be my best so far. Appearing from the toilet doors from their amusing bar scene back drop, they opened with ‘The Bitch Song’. Immediately, you could see eyes lit up, and fond memories returning. Sounding not a day older than when these tracks were released, it was amusing to see how much they had physically changed, a point that was a laughingly made by front man Jaret Reddick. Now, for a band that have somewhat passed their peak, they gave one of the most energetic performances I have seen in a long time. Pick tricks, humour, and endless silly faces, one of the best sets I have seen so far this year, playing tracks like ‘1985’, ‘Stacey’s Mom’, and encore tracks, ‘Shut Up And Smile’, and ‘Girl All The Bad Guys Want’. This was a set made entirely of crowd pleasers, and had the O2 the busiest it has been in a long time. For my first experience of Bowling For Soup live, I am pleased to say that they are a band that can perform live. More often than not, bands perform worse live, especially without the aid of backing tracks. Bowling For Soup however have their traditional ways and have held a strong ability to perform unaided, something that certainly gains my respect, as so many bands are criticised for miming.

Bristol was the last date of the current UK tour. However, in the past few days, Bowling For Soup have been announced on a run of four UK dates supporting Steel Panther. That is going to be one hell of a tour, and will hit some of the biggest venue’s in the UK. Make sure that you keep an eye on tour dates and get to a show near you. Its certainly one you won’t want to miss.

Review: Sion Roe

[FAG id=12216]

Steel Panther w/ Bowling For Soup & Buckcherry

October 2016

15 London SSE Arena Wembley

16 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

18 Manchester Arena

19 Birmingham Barclaycard Arena


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