To my knowledge, last night was the first time a wacky waving inflatable arm-flaling tube man was set off on the World Cafe Live. Leave it to Jersey dudes The Front Bottoms to take showmanship to a whole other level of goofy fun. One minute the crowd was bopping around the floor as the band kicked off their raucous tune “The Beers,” a second later a button onstage was hit and the tube man was raising the roof.
The Front Bottoms’ hour and fifteen minute set tore across selections from their awesome new Talon of the Hawk LP – “Au Revoir (Adios)” sounded fantastic, as did “I Swear to God The Devil Made Me Do It” and the single “Twin Sized Mattress” – and they dug nicely into their self-titled debut. Meanwhile, a sweaty, sold-out all ages crowd slam-danced around the World Cafe Live floor, and threw beach balls and glow bracelets around the room. It’s a rare that a show this amped up hits World Cafe Live, and it’s a treat every time.
Opening the night was Pogues-y Atlanta band The Wild, whose set was entertaining, if a tad bit samey. Singers Dianna Settles and Witt Wisebram put their priority on energy over vocals, meaning they were off-key a lot. But the band was loud enough that it covered it up most of the time.
Philly’s Cold Fronts kicked off the show, and had some technical difficulties to contend with – singer / guitarist Craig Almquist’s amp cut out repeatedly at the beginning of the set – but the tight crew of drummer Al Smith, guitarist Chris Baglivo and DRGN King’s Dominic Angelella sitting in on bass soldiered through some Neu 75-style jams while Almquist fixed his gear, keeping everyone engaged and entertained. And when stuff was back in working order and the band launched into a jam like “Sum Girls” or “Strange Architecture,” the crowd roared with approval. Check out photos from the show below.