The Front Bottoms returned to DC exactly one year after their last visit at The Fillmore Silver Spring. This time, they stopped by The Anthem — and they didn’t come alone! The Front Bottoms teamed up with Manchester Orchestra for a dynamic set from both bands on Saturday.
The Front Bottoms and Manchester Orchestra were only three days into their tour when they played the Anthem on Nov. 24. The tour kicked off on Nov. 21 in Atlanta for Manchester Orchestra’s annual Thanksgiving Celebration, The Stuffing. The tour will deliver 19 performances, including The Front Bottom’s annual Champagne Jam, before ending on Dec. 18.
The unlikely pairing of Manchester Orchestra with The Front Bottoms generated a diverse crowd at The Anthem. Each band has their own style — quite different from the other.
Manchester Orchestra opened the DC show and delivered over an hour of intense guitars and pounding drums to the backdrop of strobes and dramatic lighting. Their set was loud and flawless, completely filling the vast Anthem as the audience slowly filled the space. Manchester Orchestra’s songs were mesmerizing, creating a trancelike mood in the venue. Their set included several songs from their most recent release, A Black Mile to the Surface. Highlight of their set came with the band’s latest single, “The Gold,” followed by last song, “The Silence,” which started as a quiet ballad, only to build up to a powerful ending which left the audience in awe as the band exited the stage.
Watch the Manchester Orchestra perform “The Gold” at The Anthem on YouTube (Video by Shantel Breen):
After a brief transition, The Front Bottoms took the stage with the energy and charisma that their fans have grown to expect. Kicking off their set with the song “West Virginia,” The Front Bottoms took the stage to the sound of falling rain, very appropriate for such a rainy night in DC, and effectively jump-started the crowd with their pop-punk rhythm and guitars. Frontman Brian Sella, never shy with the audience, shouted out the song lyrics to the star-struck fans in the front row who were singing along with every word. Brian took a break after the second song and announced that his sister was at the show, and he then went right into “The Plan” after dedicating it to her.
As always, The Front Bottoms strive to create an “at home” presence on stage. The last time we covered their performance at Baltimore Soundstage, the band performed on a set resembling the living room of a close family member. This time, the boys from New Jersey rolled out a bar onto the stage as friends and family sat to have drinks while being entertained along with a couple thousand additional guests! The Front Bottoms powered through all their fan’s favorite songs such as “Vacation Town,” “Au Revoir (Adios),” and “Tie Dye Dragon.”
When Brian announced that they only had one more song left, the audience yelled out with disapproval to which he answered, “Well, what day is it? Friday? I don’t even know… Oh Saturday? Okay. We’ll go as long as we can!” This satisfied the audience and The Front Bottoms went on to play four more songs, including “Twin Mattress” and a semi-acoustic version of “12 Feet Deep.”
Watch The Front Bottoms perform “Twin Mattress” at The Anthem on YouTube: (Video by Shantel Breen):
Surprisingly, the combination of The Front Bottoms with Manchester Orchestra created the most amazing night of music. Both bands showed off their talents and unique styles. This tour will be stopping by The Fillmore in Philadelphia for two performances on Dec. 12 and 13. If you missed The Front Bottoms with Manchester Orchestra at The Anthem, it would be well worth your efforts to see this show in a few weeks!
Here are some photos of Manchester Orchestra and The Front Bottoms performing at The Anthem on Nov. 24, 2018. All photos copyright and courtesy of Shantel Breen.