Review of Wheatus supported by Stereo City, Math the Band and MC Frontalot on the 16th of October at the Ironworks.
The evening with Wheatus et al, brought many surprises, the depth of music on display, the enthusiasm of the crowd and the energy of the bands to name but a few, not bad for a band without a manager and one massive hit.
The evening started with a quandary, that remains unresolved, with news that the band would be supported by an additional three touring bands (well two and a half really).It is great to see local act, getting the opportunity to widen their market by supporting bigger acts, but tonight was an excellent chance to see three bands that we had no expectation or emotional tie to.
All the bands had been part of the thirty odd date tour of which this was the final night, with that the sense of celebration was never far off.
The first act was Stereo City, the five piece from Salisbury. Setting the tone for the night, they fed off the enthusiasm of the crowd. The soft rock/pop band, no better example of this was last , and most popular song, “The Rapture”. With a nice mix of charisma and humbleness from lead singer Russell James ,it was not really a surprise when we discovered they supported McFly earlier in the year.
Second support were electronica inspired Math the Band, they were the stand outs of the night, the duet from Providence stole the show, certainly from the rest of the support from the night. There was an unrestrained energy about Kevin and Justine’s set that was unequal. The shared vocals both complimented and contrasted in a punk infused set.
Math the Band stood proud and loud throughout the set, the flurry of stretched vocals thrown against a wall of familiar tones. The tunes worthy of a repeated listen.
The third support was another contrast MC Frontalot, supported by Wheatus. Hip-hop with severely geeky references, an act and an experience. For the un-initiated, the set took a bit of settling into, some of the references were common (Star Wars) and some less so (like battling the big bad at the end of a video game),
By the time that Wheatus were due on, the crowd, which had strangely shrunk and grew throughout the night, had rebuilt to a decent size. Brenden B. Brown started the set by introducing a brave strategy of the crowd picking the playlist. The worry, of course, would be that we were going to hear an awful lot of “Teenage Dirtbag” but it would be fair to say that the list was “conducted” a little by Brenden.
The first song was, the first track off the five million selling album, “Truffles”, which got the crowd going and threw back the clock. However saying something of the enduring nature of the band, there was obviously more than a few that would not have heard the song the first time round.
The band played a song that was described as prog rock “The Story of the Eggs”, from the new EP, “Jupiter” which had recently been played by Jo Wylie. Brendan mentioned that another UK tour for next year was on the cards with a greater emphasis on new material, which re-emphasises the bands commitment to pushing themselves and their musical expectations
The band played a good range of songs showing an ability to change pace although the crowd appeared more responsive to the brand of indie geek pop that Wheatus is renowned for.
There was a relaxed edge to proceedings, a break from the music led to an entertaining discussion about putting dodgy material into a USB stick , I guess you had to be there.
1033 was time for Wheatus to play the best known cover: “Respect”, which created a surge in the crowd. it was not the last cover of the night, as the band played at track from Weezer (yes Weezer!) returning a favour when Weezer had played Teenage Dirtbag at T in the park earlier in the year.
The night finished with Teenage Dirtbag, unsurprisingly. With an aforementioned interjection by MC Frontalot and an end of gig stage invasion by all of the support.
It seemed a fitting end to not only the night but to the tour. There is more to Wheatus than the one hit, and the professionalism, innovation and ability to evolve have held their careers together. We suspect that Wheatus will be back again, and we hope that they bring back Math the Band too.
Written by Chris Lemon
Photos by McIntosh Photography
Thanks once again to Ironworks staff.
Further photographs of the gig here.