Review: The Front Bottoms @ Northcote Theatre (Melbourne)

The Front Bottoms played Northcote Theatre (Melbourne) on 16 April, 2024 - image © Harrison Innes
Now based in Melbourne/ Naarm, Harrison is a passionate advocate for live music in Australia and enjoys both shooting/ reviewing the best live shows.

On the first night of two Melbourne shows, US indie rock band The Front Bottoms rocked Northcote Theatre playing their first show in Australia since 2018.

From the moment the doors opened, a clamouring of desperate bodies made a rush for the barricade. Packed in tightly, rows and rows of new and old fans came out on the cold Tuesday night (16 April) to relive old nostalgia, or get their fix of modern day rock nihilism.

Supporting the New Jersey duo was Australian indie darling Eliza & The Delusionals. Treading lines between the worlds of indie, alternative and dream rock, the band bring a nostalgic escapism kind of vibe to the party – a party they're always more than welcome at.

The band is as tight as you can get, with frontwoman Eliza Klatt's soaring vocals filling every crevice of the room, tying each song together perfectly.

Eliza Delusionals
Eliza & The Delusionals - image © Harrison Innes

Performing their Like A Version of Phoebe Bridger's 'Motion Sickness', the band received an amazing reception from the crowd, seemingly knowing every word and rendering Eliza's rendition semi-redundant as the crowd took the lead; a truly special moment for the band.

They brought their set to a close with their latest single, 'Make It Feel Like The Garden', the first track lifted from their newly announced album. Taking a video of the massive audience in front of them, the band left the stage to huge applause and many new fans.

A huge wave of anticipation washed over the venue. Fans packed in arm-to-arm made left late arrivals relegated to the back of both the floor and mezzanine areas, or having to face a long, slow push to get closer to the stage.

Opening with 'You Used To Say (Holy F...)', the front row screamed each lyric with absolute precision. The duo was accompanied by three others, picking up bass, guitar and keys sections, to ensure the band's catalogue was recreated to a T.

The Front Bottoms.2
The Front Bottoms - image © Harrison Innes

Rushing through 23 songs vocalist Brian Sella seldom spoke between tracks, and gracefully rushed through some tracks like 'Emotional' that was seemingly played a lot faster than the recording. While it seemed to be all gas no brakes, some songs had small pauses, like making the audience wolf cry in the middle of song.

One of the funnier interludes between tracks was the costume contest, with $20 up for grabs. "Are you wearing a costume?!" Brian yelled. "F... it you win." Following shortly after this, a second prize of a $10 note was carefully passed through the crowd to an enthusiastic bartender as the band initiated a shoey. While the shoey gimmick is largely overplayed, especially for international touring acts, it was nice that this shoey wasn't brought on by drunken crowd yells.

Playing seven shows across the country, The Front Bottoms have been seemingly mixing up their set lists. Night one in Melbourne, punters were lucky enough to hear 'Swimming Pool', but unfortunate to miss some tracks like 'Father'. As identified by Brian however, some fans had managed to attend each show and were lucky enough to hear each iteration of the set.

For both diehard and casual Front Bottom fans, the night was a spectacle. The gorgeous Northcote Theatre made sure to match each song's mood with their dynamic and impressive lighting, with the ceiling and walls being lined with colourful patterns and spotlights. The stage was never washed out and band members clearly visible at all times, not overcome by a surplus of fog.

The larger crowd however left a lot to be desired. Those filling in the space between pockets of screaming and dancing fans were largely static, mainly obstructing the view for others.

The Front Bottoms.3
The Front Bottoms - image © Harrison Innes

While the show onstage may not have been the most energetic, stories emerging from Brisbane and Sydney seemingly claim a different story with their respective crowds.

The night began to close with an obvious encore beckoning, as they walked off stage leaving two of their bigger songs not played. Thunderous roars of "one more song" soon began, amassing to a sound louder than the theatre's speaker volume.

After an acoustic solo from Sella, the night arrived at the main, main event: 'Twin Size Mattress'. An iconic song for the band, recently rejuvenated thanks to viral TikTok videos, the track was the biggest hit of the night.

A deafening sing-along accompanied the whole track and led to the end of the night, leaving the audience with a massive high to venture home with.

More photos from the concert.

Let's Socialise

Facebook pink circle    Instagram pink circle    YouTube pink circle    YouTube pink circle

 OG    NAT

Twitter pink circle    Twitter pink circle