I went to see Wheatus on Saturday the 12th of June 2010 because I’m into all that new millenium pop-rock music. I’ve heard that their second song A Little Respect has been covered by an electro-pop duo, I should really look into that…
… And I should stop over-using that joke.
Unfortunately, most of the rest of my crew were there for different reasons.
Some of my friends are fans of a “nerdcore hip hop” artist named MC Frontalot. Some of his lyrics are mildly amusing, but it’s not really my thing (not enough high-pitched vocals, for a start). Anyway, he came over to Scotland to support Wheatus on their 10th anniversary (you mean they released more than two songs? I was shocked when I found out, too) tour, so as the die-hard fans that they are, they decided to go to the gig… just for him. Intending to leave before the main act. How rude! They didn’t, in the end, but they did conspicuously vacate their spaces right at the barrier. The bass player gave the sudden gap a strange look, and it took awfully long to fill up. The venue was small and… not packed.
Tickets were a paltry £12 (compared to the usual £25+ for my kind of music), so I thought — what the heck, I’ll go for the banter. Live music is live music, and all that; may as well stay on and see the full show (you pays your money, you gets your entire evening’s entertainment). Considering their style of music (unless it had drastically changed in the last ten years in the musical wilderness… it hadn’t), I question the logic of being supported by a rapper, let alone a nerdcore rapper… then again, I’ve only been to one gig in my entire life where the support act were of an appropriate genre to the main show. Showbiz is wierd like that.
He did gain my most profound respect when he opened by getting everyone to shout “Bollocks to football!” Then his dancing was pretty incredible (I must remember some of those moves myself). Then he turned me off by claiming to hate my blog. Funny story: all my crew looked at me as they sung along, but they all still read this. Hi DS, Jack, Kilbriny and Bob. Haters gonna hate!
Turns out that Wheatus produced his latest album or something, and they seemed to be quite good friends. Not to mention he wasn’t even a support act; his show melted into the Wheatus show like so much chocolate on a sunny day — Wheatus came on stage to replace his little toaster-shaped hi-fi for the last few tunes before he bowed out and let them do the real show. This format gave them a non-stop two hours of music, which felt like great value but destroyed my legs.
Naturally, I knew two songs (though a couple of the others stirred the ashes of memories), but they played a good, solid energetic and fun set. To which the audience gleefully spilled beer everywhere… By little more than half-way through, my feet were sticking to the floor (which makes bopping rather more difficult). The bass player alternated between a very long-necked bass guitar and an electric double bass (in the darkness before the start, I almost mistook this for a microphone stand… my eyesight isn’t what it used to be). Half of the two backing singers was rather pleasing to look upon (the other half managed to look bored, awkward and a little nervous all at once). The crowd at the other end of the stage were very, very drunk. A random audience member had a picture of Obama that was handed up when the US prez came up in banter (why, we will never know). The lead singer and guitarist spent most of the gig complaining about toothache, but it didn’t seem to affect his vocal performance.
Lead singer was also caught napping before the gig. Bob, as the only entrant to the competition, won a free voice-mail message from the singer. Attempting to redeem his prize before the gig (as any adoring fan would), he was told that the man was napping. It gets better, though — after the gig, he got the message… and it didn’t record! We are hoping this has destroyed his faith in the iBacon and he will finally enter the real world of computers that can actually do things. Yeah, yeah haters gonna–
Frontalot returned to the stage during Teenage Dirtbag to do a little bonus rap. The audience seemed to enjoy that (it was actually quite fun, Frontalot definitely can talk the talk)… though the gig was in the ABC2 (the tiny little room below the main club) and it wasn’t remotely full. Poor Wheatus (poor Frontalot). When the two non-fans here for the banter are almost at the barrier…
All in all, though, I’d say a good £12 well spent. I’m not about to go out and buy Wheatus or Frontalot, but a show is a show, and they kept the pace up (unlike, say, Deacon Blue, who spread all their up-tempo songs between slow ones and completely lost the audience until Dignity… the last song). A fair price for an evening’s entertainment, especially a Saturday night in which you’d probably watch some very turgid film.
Bollocks to football, too!