BOWLING FOR SOUP: GET HAPPY TOUR – O2 BRIXTON, LONDON (LIVE REVIEW)

After only a few chords into ‘I Don’t Wanna Rock’, Bowling For Soup‘s opening number on the final night of their Get Happy Tour, Jaret Reddick snaggs one of his guitar strings; “I rocked the first chord, on the first song so hard, that I blew some shit up.” Needless to say, it was a great start to the show.

The punk-rock four piece were gracing the stage at London’s o2 Brixton Academyfor the first time since 2007, and it wasn’t only the crowd who appreciated their return, the band cetrainly thought they were doing a good job, too: “We’re four songs in, and already kicking ass”, exclaims Jaret as the crowd roars with enthusiasm. The show was a delight from start to finish, Bowling For Soup kept a comical, playful, and humorous vibe throughout the show and mocked one and other on stage.

The stage set up was incredible; at the back of their set up was a barman (by the name of Marco, who was apparently celebrating his 18th birthday that night) who prepared cocktails for himself and the band throughout the concert, while the backdrop consisted of a large camera which alternated between long shots and close ups of the audience. The rapport between the audience and band was unfathomable.

With a few thrashes of the guitar strings and a heavy thump on the drums, followed by the words, “he works at Hot Topic, his heart, microscopic.” A bellow of screams dominate the academy, for yes ladies and gentlemen, the next track was indeed, the classic, ‘Punk Rock 101.’

‘Punk Rock 101,’ was a great track, their performance was so lively and full of energy, the stage lights were a mixture of bright beams of white and blue lights. At the front of the stage, shot up flames of fire each time they sung the words, “punk rock 101.” “On our next tour we are gonna give out free marshmallows and sticks”, adds Jaret.

Half way through the show, the band announced that they would be doing a countdown to crowd favourite, ‘1985.’ When the countdown appeared on the backdrop, the crowd roared with excitement as it said 60 minutes. It was at this point when it dawned on the audience that Bowling For Soup would be playing a two hour concert. Ever the crowd pleasers, even if they were starting to feel the impact of on-stage bar; “I have a confession to make, I am drunk.” Well, I guess we have Marco to blame for that one Jaret

The penultimate song was performed by support act, Army of Freshman and was their pop-alternative, track, ‘Ohio’, before BFS launched into the final track of the night, ‘1985’, but in true Soup style there was one more show of that band/audience chemistry…

At the back of the venue was a guy holding up a sign that said, “let me play 1985”; sure enough Jaret see it, and before you know it Derek from Poland is up on stage. After receiving a short pep-talk, in which he’s reminded that they play this one exceedingly fast, Derek is thrashing out the first few chords, before strings of confetti started flying out from each corner of the room.

It was an incredible finale and brought such a vibrant ending to an amazing night.