There are few bands that have the same charm and charisma as Bowling For Soup. Celebrating 15 years of their hit record Drunk Enough To Dance, Soup once again rolled into The Toon for another booze fuelled pop punk party; packed full of anthems, fart jokes and drink breaks. “Soup, there it is!”
Support for the 2018 Get Happy Tour came from fellow party punkers Army Of Freshmen and the unmatched example of superhero might, The Aquabats! Now unfortunately we did only catch the last song of the Freshmen set which we were a bit bummed about. Although what we did see was great, a proper opener with keyboards galore. We really hope we get to enjoy their work properly in the near future.
So, The Aquabats! We’ve seen bands of all shapes, sizes and costumes before in the past. However we could never be certain of what to expect walking into this show. Spandex clad ska-warriors armed with guitars, keys and of course a saxophone flailing about on stage singing about ‘Pizza Day’ and a ‘Cat With 2 Heads’? As odd as it all sounds, it made for a bloody enjoyable evening. To begin with it looked like the majority of Newcastle weren’t totally into it, although the relentless energy turned them with the help of some inflatable sharks and burger-rings. Kudos to those who showed up in full Aquabats! garb though, you’ve just got to love the hardcore fans. After a five-year hiatus it looks like The Aquabats! are here to stay and we’re totally fine with that. Now excuse us, we’ve got a kids TV show to shamelessly binge watch.
Going to watch Bowling For Soup is like reacquainting with old friends. They return just as you remember them and you always have a jolly good time. Like we said earlier this tour was all about Drunk Enough To Dance, and revisiting some of the older hidden numbers like ‘Running From Your Dad’ and ‘Star Song’ was a complete nostalgia bomb. Bowling For Soup practically wrote the soundtrack to our teenage years. It’s heartwarming to see after all this time they still have the nuts to blast through a two hour long, 25 song set with ease, well with help from a little vodka. Aside from Drunk Enough To Dance in it’s entirety, Soup threw in a few fan favourites like ‘Almost’ and ‘1985’ to mix things up and guarantee some movement from the Geordie masses.
Our only criticism with the show, (and it’s more of a personal niggle) is that Bowling For Soup seem to have contracted something that we’ll coin “Steel Panther syndrome”; The act of stopping continuously for goof/gaff filled breaks, with each becoming longer and more drawn out in succession. We like a good laugh, but we like great music more. Bowling For Soup played excellently; they always do let’s not cloud the idea of that. However, if we just toned down some of the cross-member camaraderie we could’ve had a couple more songs, or a reworked version of their brilliant pop punk medley from a few years back?
All in all though we walked out happily, not as drunk as we would’ve liked but it was a great night nonetheless. Best of luck for the rest of the dates chaps, also when Marco the barman’s contract is up where do we apply? Happy drinking.