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Bowling for Soup - You Asked For It Tour - 19th February 2024

On a dreary Monday night usually reserved for relaxing by the TV a sell out Newcastle crowd descended on the city hall for a night of raucous, upbeat and nostalgic music (for me at least) from three bands from across the pond. Bowling for Soup with support from Less Than Jake and The Vandoliers were ready to turn this Monday night into a friday.

As we made our way into the venue a screen backdrop on the stage had codes to win a really cool unique guitar, across the room I could see everyone eagerly entering their details in anticipation of potentially winning this epic prize. Soon enough Texas based Alt-Country rockers The Vandoliers took the stage.

Less Than Jake: Photo By Sam Wall

I wasn’t aware of the Alt-Country genre but after their performance I’m all for it. This knees up blend of pure American country, folk and ska made for a fantastic opener. I think they were even amazed and humbled that the sell out crowd had pretty much all made it in to see them play. 

Less Than Jake: Photo By Sam Wall

Next up were Less Than Jake. I’ve seen this band more than any other from their own shows to festivals across the country. From the first second they hit the stage they leapt into acton and had the whole crowd jumping. Blasting their way through hits from across their illustrious career they turned the room into party, with circle pits forming in the crowds they never stopped in their relentless assault for fun.

They could have probably sold out the show all on their own. Songs like “All my Best Friends are Metalheads”,”The Science of Selling Yourself Short” and a version of “The Rest of My Life” where Chris played the majority of it solo with us singing back every word to him was really special. As they closed the set with the huge anthem “Gainesville Rock City” the night could have ended right their and we’d have had our fill.

Less Than Jake: Photo By Sam Wall

Just before it was time for Bowling for Soup to to headline the night the screens lit up with a countdown and played a fantastic intro video highlighting the bands humour. From the get go it was all about the fun. From popping off innuendos, making silly dirty jokes and saying c**t more than any band in history we were all taken back to our teenage years to the moments we all discovered their music.

Similarly to Less Than Jake’s set Bowling for Soup played nothing but the biggest hits and singalongs. When they got to “Punk Rock 101” a brief interlude (including a Rick Roll) for an enhanced photo opportunity occurred. The band took the time to pose on stage for us all to get mementos of the night. They even let The Vandoliers take over and finish “Ohio (come back to Texas)” which was a nice touch.

Bowling For Soup: Photo By Sam Wall

The rest of night ended as it started, focused on fun and having a good time. They continued playing hit after hit with “Two Seater”, “High School Never Ends” and “The Bitch Song”. During “Almost” they announced the winner of the guitar giveaway. Concluding with their biggest crowd pleasers, “Girl all the Bad Guys Want” and “1985.”

Bowling For Soup: Photo By Sam Wall

Its clear to me and to everyone there that this was a incredible night. These bands have been together over 30 years and I believe they will always draw a sellout crowd packed full of die hard fans who have been with them throughout  and parents bringing their kids to their first concerts. The need for this genre of music has never been more apparent to me, They truly turned a Monday night into a Friday. 

Article & Photos By Sam Wall

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