Article and Photos by: Melanie Allen
Emo’s in Austin, TX became a hot spot for indie kids last Thursday night. Three up and coming indie duos sold out the venue. Headliners, The Front Bottoms, have an insanely dedicated fanbase. People started lining up early in the morning, and many came with tattoos dedicated to the band, or homemade t-shirts. Another large number of fans had been to every other Texas date for this tour, and Austin was the bands’ last stop in the Lone Star State.
As the sold out crowd piled into the venue, NYC’s Diet Cig kicked off the show, quite literally actually. Frontwoman Alex Luciano is known for her onstage high kicks and jumps, and it’s almost unbelievable how much energy she brings forth. The duo turned heads this year at SXSW, and much of the audience made their way to the show early to catch their half hour set. They played songs off of their EP Overeasy, as well as their singles “Sleep Talk” and “Dinner Date,” leaving the crowd with an immense feeling of carelessness and fun. Several audience members left with Diet Cig merch, including patches that were handmade by the frontwoman herself.
Next up were indie rock duo Brick + Mortar, from New Jersey. This group provided crazy video projections to be paired with each song they performed, and they even had a “hype man” of sorts. Brick + Mortar had incredible onstage chemistry, and created a great platform to include the crowd in that chemistry. B+M brought balloons, water guns, a blowup mattress, giant plush hands, and other fun props for the crowd. They group isn’t signed to a label, but you wouldn’t have any idea from listening to their music. Frontman and bassist Brandon Asraf hyped up the crowd by insisting everyone jump together to tunes such as “Keep This Place Beautiful.” Though B+M look pretty tough on the outside, their songs all seem to send positive messages.
During The Front Bottoms’ set, and even beforehand, the audience squeezed in as close to the stage as they could. The lights darkened, and The Front Bottoms took the stage to a song that you’d probably hear on a commercial asking for donations to feed hungry children. It was immediately clear that this band has a lively sense of humor. Frontman Brian Sella took the stage wearing a Texas flag (that he had received at a previous Texas show) as a cape. Their stage setup included periodic bubbles and even a one-legged air dancer near drummer Mathew Uychich. The band isn’t currently touring an album, so they played a good mix of songs from each of their studio releases. They even played “Wolfman,” one of the tracks off of their RSD 2015 split EP with labelmate GDP. The crowd went insane for this track, particularly, since it’s rarely ever performed. Multiple times, Sella would even stop singing completely and let the crowd take over to show their love. For their encore, both opening bands joined TFB onstage in performing their hit “Twin Size Mattress.” The night came to a close with Sella performing 2014 hit “Twelve Feet Deep.” The Front Bottoms made it clear how much they love Texas, and the crowd reciprocated. Without a doubt, they’ll be back with more songs about love, loss, and having fun.