"Gareth and I went to Bowling for Soup on Sunday," I told my cousin, Joseph.
"Soup. You know. 1985. High School Never Ends.....oh-oh..oh-oh-oh-oh..."
"Oh! I thought you guys did a charity thing...you know. Bowling to feed the hungry."
I thought back to the audience Gareth and I mixed in on Sunday (the 21st) and thought, well....most of the kids did look hungry. And in need of showers. But no, Bowling for Soup is a really unique band. Gareth's a big fan because their lyrics are pretty creative, and that seems be a major criteria for Gareth to like a band or singer. The concert was held at El Corazon, an interesting dive of a place. Mostly a rock venue, though from the flyers posted everywhere, it caters to punk, indie rock, metal and emo. Their website even touts math rock. Wha..? Anyway...
So those who know me, know this isn't really my scene. I thought jeans and a henley would be appropriate. No need to really dress up, right? Not that I roll in anything more than casual, anyway. In fact, the jeans I picked had ragged ends from my lettin em drag, since they're just a bit long even in boots, so I thought, these'll work. Well, I made a mistake wearing heeled boots...and a leather jacket. If I went for sneakers and a hoodie, I'd have fit right in. And oh...funky hair, lots of eye liner, shiny lipgloss and fruity, bubble gum perfume. That would've completed the outfit.
But I wasn't there to fit in. I like Bowling for Soups songs. Silly, catchy and fun. So I was looking forward to it. The tickets said 6:30, but we found out there were three opening bands, so the headliner wouldn't even get on stage til 915p. So Gareth and I took a 15 min stroll to the Cheesecake Factory and had dinner at the bar to beat the line of people waiting for a table. We watched the end of the Patriots & Colts playoff and rooted for Joseph's team. Alas, it wasn't meant to be for New England this year. Gareth has vowed not to watch the Superbowl since he doesn't like the Bears or the Colts. We'll see.
Anyway, we headed back to El Corazon just in time to run into the band as they exited their tour bus. While I like their music, I have to admit I never studied them or learned who was who. I just knew there was a drummer, a lead singer, a fat guitarist and a bass player. Well, I learned eventually they were (respectively) Gary, Jaret, Chris & Erik. We arrived at El Corazon as Erik (the bassist) stepped off the bus with a huge belch. Lovely. Chris, the big bald one, actually has a sweet face for a hulking, tattoo-ridden figure. Jaret, the lead singer was busy signing autographs as he walked, but when we got in each other's way, he very politely said, "Pardon me, ma'am." :: sigh :: I don't like being called "Ma'am." But it was very nice of him to get out of my way.
Check out Bowling for Soup's cover of Fergie's "London Bridge" and you'll get an idea of how a BfS concert goes. When they played, they rocked! But they're cut-ups and were always interrupting themselves to make fun of each other or get the eager-to-scream-about-anything audience (note I'm not including myself in this hyper mass of humanity) to cheer for pizza pockets and water.
Their banter and apparent camaraderie was amusing but concert-goers young and (not so) old go to hear music, and when it's fun punk rock, people wanna get their rock on. It sucks to get totally in the music, jump, flail & bob your head furiously and then have it all come to a screeching halt because the band would rather crack jokes . One teenager actually voiced what I was thinking and yelled, "Shut the fuck up & play some music!" and Jaret told her, "Hey, we'll do the show how we want to, you just listen!" and she got summarily hissed at by her more idolizing peers.
And Bowling for Soup did do the show the way they wanted. They managed to fill an hour and a half with about 6 or 7 songs and a lot of inane chatter. Somewhat disappointing, yeah, but still quite an interesting experience.
Bowling for Soup: (L-R) Eric, Gary, Chris & Jaret.