’m not really sure where to start with this one. I’ve been listening to Bowling for Soup since I was kid. They first appeared on the Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius soundtrack when I was eight years old, playing the theme song. They then began to pop up on various on compilations as time went on, eventually catching my attention when 2004’s A Hangover You Don’t Deserve hit stores. “1985” was the one song that everyone wanted to play over and over again.
As time has gone on, I’ve still followed these guys because they understand the key to success: take the creation of your music seriously, but have fun. You can get up onstage and tell jokes, write silly sounding songs, but if you’re serious about putting on a good show and having fun while doing it, you will thrive. It’s evident, as the band sold out the venue they performed at last Friday night in San Francisco, Bottom of the Hill, far in advance. The venue is small, but the shows are incredibly intimate, making a unique place in San Francisco to see a show.
The band performed until 1 AM, a task that even the most seasoned rock veterans would scoff at given the opportunity. Each member armed with a beer in hand and instruments in tact, “Almost” kicked off the night in sing-along fashion, followed shortly by “High School Never Ends”, a memorable hit about how, well, people will treat the real world like it’s high school even after they’ve graduated. “Ohio (Come Back To Texas)” moved things along.
One of the reasons that Bowling For Soup are able to keep a crowd in the venue until 1 AM is because they’re so undeniably funny. Vocalist Jaret Reddick took the stage, stating how he knew he had gained a lot of weight since the last time everyone saw him. “I’m gonna tell you why. I’m a Steelers fan, and they’re playing the 49ers this weekend, so I ate the 49ers.” The crowd erupts with laughter. The banter continues in the night as a drunken fan yells “I LOVE YOU BLINK-182!” at a quiet moment. Everyone laughs, including the band. Reddick quickly remarks, “I’m sorry, sir, I think you’re confused, our band is actually still together!” (referencing the Tom DeLonge departure that occurred earlier this year). The single greatest burn of the year occurred in that moment.
The band continued with a set list rarity, the song “My Hometown” from A Hangover You Don’t Deserve, one of my personal favorites. They didn’t slow down once the song finished, instead immediately jumping into one of the single greatest moments of the night: performing the Phineas and Ferb theme song (which they wrote and recorded). EVERYONE sang.
“How many people are here to see us perform our big hit, “Stacy’s Mom?!” Reddick says. A laughable number of people raise their hand. “Well, that is NOT our song.” For some odd reason, masses of people have been mistaking Bowling For Soup to be the writers of the song “Stacy’s Mom”, when it was actually written by rock band Fountains of Wayne. The band caught onto this, recorded their own version of it, and have added it to their set list since.
After the last jokes of the night were told, all the beers were drank, and all goodbyes were said, the band launched into “1985”. Everyone yelled the lyrics back together, including myself, even after all these years. Happy 21st birthday, Bowling For Soup. Here’s to many more. Cheers.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.