Review: The Front Bottoms with Brick + Mortar & Diet Cig

I was driving past The Blue Note a little before noon on Saturday the ninth and was beyond astonished to see a few dozen people already camped outside waiting for The Front Bottoms, Brick + Mortar, and Diet Cig.

A few hours later, I arrived at will call only to be greeted by a few hundred more waiting in a line wrapping all the way around the 900-capacity venue. Last time the Kryptonite Crew saw The Front Bottoms, it was the same situation—a countless number of heads chattering away as they all waited for doors to open.

I checked in for my photo pass and headed inside the venue praying there would be a photo pit. I was ecstatic to find out how close I was going to be to all three bands: a three-foot stage, a one-foot-wide photo pit. The hundreds of fans lining up behind the barricade knew that they, too, were in for an up-close-and-personal kind of show.

The overall vibe of the hour before doors was truly happiness. If happiness could be shown in a physical from, this would be it.

5 minutes before 8, I was standing in the photo pit going over some settings. From the corner of my eye, I see this girl not much older than me jumping around on side stage. That’s Alex, the lead vocalist and guitar for Diet Cig.

From that moment forward, I knew that I was going to be utterly infatuated with this pixie-fairy-princess-like girl.

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04.09.16 \\ the blue note

Diet Cig consists of just Alex and Noah, a guitarist/vocalist and a drummer. The two were able to put on such an energetic show, their caring dynamic for one another setting the tone for their half hour set.

Alex was filled with more [really high and impressive] leg kicks, dancing, and jumping like I saw from side stage. She frequently reminded me of a female Brian Sella—the same type of voice, the same type of smile, the same type of music. I’m in love with Brian Sella so it was pretty easy to fall in love with Alex Luciano, too.

Noah was able to radiate the same kind of energy, even from behind a drum kit. He was smiling and laughing, watching the audience interact with their music.

Diet Cig is filled with the perfect amount of alternative, rock, and cuteness.

Brick + Mortar were on second, a duo consisting of Brandon on guitar/bass/vocals and John on drums/vocals. Their friend Richie stayed alongside the pair, bringing energy, visuals, and backtracks to the group.

Their set was filled with props and jokes, cool backdrops and a great drummer. This band was very talkative with the crowd, talking with the nine hundred people as if we were long-term best friends.

Towards the end, Richie pulled out an inflatable mattress and surfed the crowd on it. Not just once, twice. The second time neither I nor the security guards in the pit expected this as I came so close to be run over by a flying inflatable mattress (I never thought I would say that sentence). 

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04.09.16 \\ the blue note

Turns out an inflatable alien used to surf the crowd but got destroyed at a previous show. I guess a mattress with Richie on top will have to do.

Brick + Mortar got the crowd fired up and ready for The Front Bottoms.

Last were The Front Bottoms. Since this specific venue was only a block or two off of University of Missouri’s campus, the band had a Mizzou flag plastered up on stage. As a person coming from a family of two Mizzoui grads, that meant a lot to me, that made me smile.

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04.09.16 \\ the blue note

TFB get better and better every time I see them, even though Brian remains in only his socks. (Seriously, can someone buy this man a pair of shoes?)

I’m supposed to remain fairly professional during shows as it’s my job to get photos, but I couldn’t help but internally scream as I looked at the ground of the stage to see their full set. Their set for Saturday night was filled with so many oldies. They started with my all time favorite ‘Funny You Should Ask’, leading to ‘Flashlight’, ‘Skeleton’ and ‘Lipstick Covered Magnet’ a little later.

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04.09.16 \\ the blue note

From the pit—and later on from the balcony—I was able to physically feel the entire venue shaking as everyone jumped around more and more with each minute passing.

The Front Bottoms, much like their openers, are filled with so much love and energy that constantly amazes me. I’ve never seen a band with such dedication to their music, to touring, to having a better show than the previous night.

The crowd that’s been standing out since noon were shouting/singing every single word, every single breath, every single beat. The dedication that the band gives to their fans was definitely returned. The dedicated fanbase love The Front Bottoms just as much as The Front Bottoms love their fanbase.

On this particular night, Brian had on a fancy shirt—his words, not mine. He seemed pretty excited about this fancy shirt so I’m not going to tear him down with the fact he was wearing a black striped shirt with navy blue slacks.

You do you, you do you.

After my three songs in the pit, I headed up to the balcony where I watched a few college boys on the side balcony get more and more drunk and dance with each other as the night went on. By the time ‘Beers’ came on, these boys were almost falling over the balcony railing.

Everyone was singing along with the band—the security guards were, the drunk college boys were, I was. I wish that I could have filmed the entire concert and re-watch it every night.

It took two chords of ‘Twelve Feet Deep’ before every single human being in that venue screamed every single lyric, they continued this all the way through ‘Swimming Pool’, even singing the backtracks that are in the recorded track and not the live version.

11pm rolled around and The Front Bottoms were still going strong with their energy but everything must come to an end.

After a three-song encore with a few dozen crowd surfers, I watched Brian take a step back and look out into the crowd with a smile upon his lips. He looked so happy, so astonished. I’ve seen them play to a venue twice the size of The Blue Note, but it’s nice to know that the little things make the band happy, too.

I am forever and ever delusional in love with this band.

You can check out more photos from the night in our gallery!


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