A bittersweet event, this one, as one of the funniest and most entertaining bands played their swansong gig in Glasgow as part of their Farewell tour. As a result, we ponied up the extra for VIP tickets to get in early and see a short acoustic set with Erik and Jaret.
This was kinda cool, and I gather they’re playing different songs each night. We got three tracks, a signed poster and a photo with all of the band which we’ve to download in a day or so. It was well organised, and the guys were great – very patient and taking time to answer a question here or there or pose in a daft style if asked.
As we had Little Miss with us, being in early meant we could grab one of the downstairs seats as she’d never be able to stand throughout the whole gig. We were joined by a couple who were following the band around the whole tour, and who kindly supplied LM with some of those squooshy earplugs when Patent Pending turned out to be a little loud!
I’ve not caught Patent Pending before, though they toured with Bowling For Soup last year. Unfortunately the gig (and four others!) clashed with our wedding/honeymoon and none of the bands heeded my tweets to change their schedules (pah). BFS and PP have done a little work together, co-writing the occasional track and so on. In fact, Jaret popped on stage to finish one of their songs off as he’d written the last verse.
The sound was awful for the first song, which sounded like one loud guy singing (badly) over a radio that was on in the kitchen. I’m staggered that it could be that bad in such a large venue with a sold-out crowd. Did the band even get a sound check earlier in the day? Mind, from what I gather, they had a new sound guy on so he may not have been aware of the intricacies and difficulties of trying to get decent sound out of the Academy, which is notorious for having appalling acoustics.
Fortunately, by the second or third song some dials had been twiddled and knobs pushed which gave some semblance of decent audio. This is good as Patent Pending deserved to be appreciated – they’re a superb opening act for a band like BFS and are, in fact, a band I’d gladly pay to see headline.
They’re simply all-out, mad, barking, energetic, silly fun. I couldn’t name a song (apart from the theme to The Big Bang Theory), but I didn’t care. Without giving you a chance to breathe, they ripped through a great set including crowdsurfing competitions between band members, acting the part of Mario, doing a solo on the balcony and the aforementioned guest appearance.
Brilliant stuff. When they first came on stage, Little Miss branded them “an older One Direction“. By the end of the set, she told us she wants to go and see them again. They’re touring with People on Vacation in April, and playing King Tut’s in Glasgow. I need to seek out tickets ASAP! They’re not on sale yet – I just checked.
Bowling For Soup themselves hit the stage at around 8:15 and played for over two hours. They’d promised something special for this last tour and special we got. No huge inflatable, but a simple set with decent lights, four smoke “cannons” and thirty-one songs spanning their entire career.
The songs from the new album were received fairly quietly, I noticed. Whether this was because people didn’t own it (I know the woman next to us didn’t -surprising given she’d bought umpteen gig tickets!) or because it is pretty downbeat, I don’t know. Either way, the older material definitely got the crowd going more.
As ever, there was plenty of banter with the crowd, silly ad-libbed exchanges on stage, a couple of guest appearances from the support act, talk of boobies, praising of beer and so on.
Oh, quick message to the guy who was trying to untie and rip my shoe off my foot as I was crowdsurfing at the end of Punk Rock 101: I’m dreadfully sorry my other foot slammed you in the face and made you bleed. What a dreadful accident that was, though I can only put it down to having to twist around to stop you stealing my footwear. You stupid, thieving prick.
Despite the length of the set, time passed quickly. The sound was definitely improved compared to Patent Pending’s, though I’d say it was still pretty muddy down on the dance floor. Up where we were sat (I bobbed between the two areas), and near the sound desk under the balcony, it was better. That’s the issue with this venue – the sound guy has to judge the sound from where he’s sat. And where he’s located isn’t representative of the sound that the vast majority of the crowd are hearing.
Anyway, I didn’t hear many (if any) complaints as everyone was too busy enjoying themselves. The set list is below so I won’t bore/spoil it for you if you’re yet to see them on this tour. Suffice to say it was a superb set, and really rammed home what a hole they’ll be leaving on the annual gig calendar now that they’ve stopped their regular touring.
Jaret did say that we shouldn’t rule out future UK appearances, but that heavy touring with over. I guess this means that the right offer could see a festival appearance in the future. Here’s hoping.
Gonna miss these guys, but what a send-off party.