American Rock band Wheatus rolled back the years to when we were all teenage dirt bags when they played the famous Thekla in Bristol. The band played a stellar set including all the classics as well as some hidden gems from their previous releases. Supporting Wheatus on their European tour was solo singer song writer Mike Doughty, who was the former frontman of the post grunge band Soul Coughing.
As the background music faded Mike Doughty walked onto the stage and was greeted with cheers from the crowd. Although Mike Doughty is an acoustic act he had a full band joining him, which featured Wheatus members Brendan B Brown and Gabrielle Aimée Sterbenz. Mike Doughty played tracks from his previous release 'Stellar Motel' as well as tracks off his latest release 'The Heart Watches While The Brain Burns'. Mike Doughty’s light humour was well received by the crowd as he joked about himself being in Wheatus. Its also great to see Wheatus supporting their fellow friends/ musicians.
Next up was Wheatus whose high energy had the crowd captivated from the start with their high energy and notably Brendan B Brown who didn't’t stop moving across the stage. The band has gone through numerous line up changes over the years, on this night there were seven members packed onto the Thekla stage. Including their newest addition Brandon Ticer on the keyboard whose energy was great to watch.
The show felt very intimate as the band would ask the crowd what songs they wanted the band to play as well as Brendan asking his fellow bandmates. What made the band such a pleasure to watch was seeing a group of musicians who were all passionate and clearly loved and wanted nothing more than to entertain the crowd as well as themselves, which was evident from the banter between the bandmates and the crowd.
The band played tracks from their first album release ‘Wheatus’ including up beat tracks such as ‘Leroy’ and ‘Hey Mr Brown’ as well as one of their most famous tracks ‘A Little Respect’. The band also played tracks from their previous releases including ‘BMX Bandit’ and ‘Fourteen’. The even included their latest single ‘Tipsy’, which they released late last year.
The band played the penultimate track 'Wannabe Gangstar'; to which Brendan gave an insight into the bands history as they went to Abbey Road Studios to record a version of the song back in 2001. Before the band were about to play the long awaited 'Teenage Dirt Bag', the band went to the aid of a woman in the crowd who may have been feeling a bit ill due to the heat of the packed venue and the band ensured that she was okay before continuing which was a great deed by the band and was well received by the crowd.
'Teenage Dirt Bag' had the room in full voice and was a great way to end a very entertaining set. I went to the show not knowing what to expect and I left seeing a great performance and I’d recommended seeing them if you get the chance.
Wheatus - https://www.facebook.com/wheatus/
Mike Doughty - https://www.facebook.com/mikedoughty/
Photos & Review - Anthony Shaw Photography