The Front Bottoms, The Smith Street Band, Elvis Depressedly 11/30 @ Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence RI By Susan McLean
I finally caught The Front Bottoms on their Back On Top Tour on the last night of their tour in Providence, RI at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel. I've always had a soft spot for TFB since their 2011 Self Titled. In 2013 they released Talon of the Hawk and I was still a fan, and Rose in 2014 only deepened my love for their incredibly depressing messy style. This September, TFB released Back On Top and their sound changed a little, but it brought them loads of new fans. Personally, I only really loved 2YL off the new album but was ecstatic to see them live. I missed their show at Toad's Place on 10/16, so I found my way to the Providence show, excited as all hell. Most of the dates of the tour sold out, and I'm not sure that 11/30 was sold out, but I'm not sure that anyone else could have been stuffed into the venue.
Elvis Depressedly was on first, and I really enjoy them, but the crowd was being a little shitty, and I feel as though they went under-appreciated. They played Inside You, which has always been a favorite of mine. Unfortunately I wasn't close enough for any photos.
Next was The Smith Street Band, all the way from Australia. I'd never heard of them, but they played well and the crowd was a lot more into them. They were a lot more 'thrashy' and the pit opened up. In all honesty, I was very into the '666' shirt.
Finally, The Front Bottoms came on and the energy was incredible. They played well live and mixed old favorites like Twin Sized Mattress and Flashlight in with new songs like Motorcycle and Cough it Out. The pit was insane, and for most of their set, I found myself in the middle, thrashing gently along. For the most part, I found people were fairly decent and picked each other up when they fell, but I saw a lot of people taking advantage of other people without consent. Mosh pit groping is a huge issue, that myself and many of my friends have faced (and would love to end) and I saw a lot of this at this show. Since Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel is essentially a bar, some individuals were pretty inebriated and I think this lowered their inhibitions enough that they weren't aware that they were not given consent. In the Defend The Front Bottoms Facebook group the next day, I saw a lot of posts from young girls saying they had alerted security that they were being sexually assaulted and violated without their consent, and security had done nothing. I obviously don't know the full story in any of these interactions and am not accusing anyone of anything, however it is unacceptable for fans to come away from a show with complaints like this and Bruised Knuckles is working on a partnership with Girls Against, the UK group of girls standing up against mosh pit groping.
Although this show left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I hate that young, potentially even underage, as TFB has a young fanbase, fans have to be wary of being groped in a mosh pit, an environment that is supposed to welcome all; I did enjoy the three bands and wouldn't hesitate to see any of them again. I'd love to catch Elvis Depressedly at a smaller, more intimate venue, and I'd love it TFB made some comments about sexual assault at their shows, as this might help form a stance that behavior like this is unacceptable.
Finally, I'd like to apologize for the delays on posting this, the holidays and finals have killed any schedule I might have had. I'd also like to thank Jenna Mancini for the photos and I urge you to check her out on Instagram @jenna_mancini
What we're listening to.