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Bowling For Soup - O2 Academy Birmingham 16.04.2022

It's Saturday night in Birmingham and what better way is there to get into the party spirit than a Bowling for Soup show? If that's not enough they've also brought along Pop-Punk counterparts Lit to really up the ante. First up and getting us underway tonight is American outfit the Dollyrots, who are put together with wife Kelly Ogden on bass and vocal duties and husband Luis Cabezas on guitar. I can't get over how cool it must be to be touring the world as husband and wife, these guys are literally living the dream in my book. Their set is bouncy and fun, my friend in the photo pit with me described them as 'bubble gum punk' and I don't think that could be more fitting. Their cover of Melanie's 'Brand New Key' is a big highlight and their last song 'Because I'm Awesome' has a real feel-good factor about it. The Dollyrots have got us warmed up nicely here. Up next and taking things up a notch are Lit, and oh my word these guys blew me away! It's hard to believe their classic album 'A Place In The Sun' came out all the way back in 1999, and they're still just as cool. That album is still very much an important staple of their catalogue as their set has plenty from it, they open with the awesome 'Four' and bounce straight into 'Zip-lock'. From a photographer's perspective these guys are so fun to shoot! Bassist Kevin Baldes gives us plenty of jump shots and frontman Ajay Popoff loves playing up to the camera too. As the set draws to a close, we are treated to a new single that has only been out for just over a week so we are among the first to hear it, 'Kicked Off The Plane' goes down a treat! Finally Lit bring the curtains down with their instantly recognisable classic 'My Own Worst Enemy', as soon as that opening riff kicks in the whole venue erupts, what a fantastic set from these guys. Last but not least the mighty Bowling for Soup ake to stage and the party is now in full swing. They open with 'My Hometown' and the crowd respond by going absolutely wild. Being in the photo pit for their massive hit 'High School Never Ends' has to be some of the must fun I've ever had behind my camera, I and some of the other photographers are singing along whilst we're shooting, and frontman Jaret Reddick acknowledges it, "It's so great to see the photographers singing along!". He's also on great comedic form as always as he accuses another photographer of farting in the pit! The setlist is packed with plenty of great songs, as you might expect for a band who have been going for quite some time now. But it's one of their new releases that captures my attention - "I Wanna Be Brad Pitt" is just so ridiculous that it's absolutely brilliant. Seriously, wants not to love about lyrics like "It would be the shit, if I could be Brad Pitt." As the set draws to a close I am hit right in the nostalgia feels with 'Girl All The Bad Guys Want', I can remember the video being on Kerrang 24/7 back when this was released, and it still holds up as an absolute classic. After the encore we finish with their rendition of "1985", which Jaret joked that this is the only song that everyone wanted to hear, before saying the jokes on us because he's already took our money! What a great night of live music. You expect a party kind of atmosphere at a show like this and that is exactly what was delivered, Bowling for Soup are as strong as ever. A special mention for Lit too, they were absolutely phenomenal and I hope to see them back in the UK very soon!

Photos & Review - Sam Robinson Photography


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