Gig Review: Bowling For Soup live stream (Show 1 – Nov 7th 2020)

After last night’s soundcheck and acoustic set, one would expect things to kick of smoothly for the main show tonight… and they did! “Bitch Song” was the raucous opener, followed by “High School Never Ends”, a great opening salvo spoiled only by my internet being crap and the feed cutting out a couple of times in each song.

Sweating buckets after this energetic start, the band took one of their familiar breaks to… well, talk nonsense. It’s part of the show we’ve come to expect and love. A BFS show wouldn’t be the same without the banter. It also wouldn’t be the same without that great anthem to Texas, “Ohio”. They rattled through it, replete with crowd-engaging arm-waving and… Oh, did you think that just because the guys were in a box in Texas and the audience was everywhere but a box in Texas that they wouldn’t be involved? As if! Where you’d usually have big screens at the back of the stage showing videos and so on, they were used tonight so display multiple Zoom streams of fans sat in their own homes (hopefully all wearing trousers/pants).

“Trucker Hat”, which featured last night was next on the bill. We were treated to the extended version which basically involved Jaret and Chris taking a drinks break (yes, of course they had the bar on stage like usual) while Gary and Rob kept the beat going. While my kids tried to get me to make them food and I attempted to explain that while you can pause a live stream that still means missing bits, the opening chords of “Emily” rang out so I told them to go and figure out how the kitchen worked by themselves. Nobody died (at least at the time of writing).

Jaret name-dropped Alexa Bliss which naturally led to her eponymous song being played, one of the catchiest of their recent numbers. Because you can have too much music at a live show, we then endured / suffered / enjoyed (delete as appropriate) a comedy jam, which Chris won. Let’s see if he can hold onto his crown in show number 2. Holding in his disappointment at losing much better than certain ex-Presidents I could mention, Jaret led the band into the awesome “Almost”. Quite fitting as he almost won.

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After a worryingly large number of men showed their nipples on the Zoom feed (don’t ask), the music helped ease the mental scars and the band rattled into “Hey Diane”. The first “proper” live performance of “Catalyst” followed after it featured in last night’s soundcheck show (that one doesn’t count as a real show, does it?).

In case you thought their songs were too long or slow, BFS showed their ability to speed things up with the theme from Phineas and Ferb which earned them a celebratory drinks break. Along with most everyone in the chat window. Straight from this into the classic “Last Rock Show” and then “Punk Rock 101” without drawing breath – a pairing which would usually have a live crowd going utterly mental. Good job they break it up with a chance for the audience to grab a posed photo of the band. Something which bizarrely still works on a livestream.

And then… new song. Yes, the band have written and recorded a new album as a result of not being out on the road – and tonight we got the first ever listen to “Brad Pitt”. It’s a pretty heavy number, grungy and a proper rocker filled with name drops and film references – the sort of lyrics we’ve come to expect if you’ve heard “Val Kilmer”. Personal favourite “Girl All The Bad Guys Want” is the next to blast our eardrums with the only downside being that it meant the show was drawing to a close, a point hammered home with the permanent fixture of “1985”.

Despite the chatbox filling with cries of “One more song” and “Here we, here we, here we fucking go” (that was me), there was to be no encore. Having said that, for those who’ve ponied up the money, there’s a whole second show starting in an hour or so!

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Fiona Freeman
Fiona Freeman
November 7, 2020 9:38 PM