BY JOE DeSANTI | Go Venue Magazine
On Friday night October 4, 2019, Bowling For Soup headlined a sold-out show at The Slowdown in Omaha, Nebraska. Concertgoers were also treated to two other bands that tore the house down.
The night started with Arizona natives, Authority Zero, who had an impressive showing, and set the tone for a memorable night. The band was formed almost 25 years ago, and currently consists of Jason DeVore (lead vocals), Mike Spero (bass guitar), Chris Dalley (drums), and Dan Aid (guitar). DeVore’s strong vocals, along with the band’s unique Ska Punk sound, impressed the crowd and definitely was a great way to start the show. Their 8-song set included tracks from their 2018 albums, Persona Non Grata and R&B III” and earlier hits from their 2017, 2004, and 2002 albums.
Next to the stage was Less Than Jake, a Ska Punk band that’s been making great music for over two decades. Based out of Gainesville, Florida, and formed in 1992, Less Than Jake has released 9 studio albums and toured all over the country. Their infectious on-stage energy had the crowd singing, dancing, and waving their arms back and forth during their entire performance. They took time between songs to interact with the crowd, each time inciting more excitement for what was coming next. Their 15-song set included a lot of their well-known hits, such as, “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads”, and “The Science of Selling Yourself Short”, and even a few of their newer songs. Seeing them live in person was definitely a treat, and was long overdue! According to lead singer, Chris DeMakes, on this tour, the band takes turns closing the show with Bowling For Soup. On this particular night, their position on the show was perfect. They had the crowd on their feet and jamming the entire time.
After a brief intermission, Bowling For Soup took the stage, and The Slowdown went bonkers. Formed in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1994, Bowling For Soup has released 10 studio albums, received a Grammy nomination, and has produced theme songs for the Nickelodeon TV show, “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius”, and the Disney TV show, “Phineas and Ferb”. The group was led to the stage by lead vocalist, Jaret Reddick. He was joined on stage with bandmembers, Chris Burney (guitar and backing vocals), Gary Wiseman (drums, percussion, and backing vocals), and Rob Felicetti (bass guitar and backing vocals). Their set seemed short, and consisted of 10 songs and a 2-song encore. The sold-out venue went crazy for their well-known hits like, “Almost”, “Ohio”, “Girls All the Bad Guys Want”, and “1985”, but were also treated to a few cover songs from AC/DC and Fountains of Wayne. To make up for the short set list, the band frequently stopped between songs and conversed with the crowd. At one point, Reddick even initiated a joke-telling contest between the band members. I would have preferred less chatter and a few more songs, but like Reddick mentioned early on, the band is older now, and they “need a break” between numbers. Despite their set list being short, I thoroughly enjoyed their entire performance, and the crowd loved every second of it. Some of the songs brought me back to my early college years, and Bowling For Soup’s feel-good music and energy was awesome to experience in person.