It’s not been the easiest few years for Bowling For Soup frontman Jaret Reddick, but he’s dealing with it the best way he knows how. By playing music and telling the sort of anecdotes sure to raise a chuckle or two. Already Heard caught the second night of his ‘Heartache and Hilarity Tour’ at Leeds’ The Key Club this week.
Getting the evening under way, glamour trio The Lounge Kittens may seem like a novelty act on the face of it, but they still manage to draw as loud and raucous a crowd as any support act the venue has ever seen. There’s no denying the gorgeous harmonies the trio create, or the quirky charm they bring to their unique piano based covers. Their scattergun, genre and era-hopping setlist goes down a storm, kicking off with an appropriately chosen pop-punk medley that ends on ‘Girl All The Bad Guys Want’. It’s hard to fault an act that can fit the Pokemon theme (a cover that makes everyone present lose their shit), a medley that gives nods to the likes of Fozzy and Biffy Clyro in quick succession, and a show-stopping “Bangers” medley that takes on Queen and Aerosmith among other 80s and 90s classics, all into one set and not have it feel disjointed or have the entertainment or quality levels dip. (3.5/5)
Anyone expecting the typical vibe and presentation of a regular Bowling For Soup show was likely in for the surprise from what Jaret Reddick has to offer from his ‘Heartache and Hilarity Tour’. Everyone’s favourite lovable Texan was every bit as witty and irreverent as ever, but this was him in reflective yarn spinning mood. The show was similar in format to MTV’s Storytellers, and saw Reddick digging deep into his extensive back catalogue and sharing the tales of their origins.
As you’d expect from the format, this made for an exceptionally intimate and special evening, the likes of ‘Pictures He Drew’, ‘Star Song’ and tear jerkers ‘When We Die’ and ‘Goodbye Friend’ living up to the Heartache section of the tour’s title, and receiving welcome airings as they’re rarely played in BFS’ full band format. Reddick was admirably frank and candid with his audience, opening up about his battles with depression, his weight gain and other life struggles as a backdrop to the inspiration behind each song. More upbeat numbers ‘Ohio’, ‘1985’ and ‘Friends of Mine’ all kept the lusty en mass so singalongs going throughout the evening. (4.5/5)
With the ‘Heartache and Hilarity’ format, Jaret Reddick has found a new way to present his beloved arsenal of songs in a desperately endearing and memorable setting. Fans who attended both this show, and any night of the tour, will find themselves leaving feeling closer to both the musician and the man behind the songs.
Words by Dane Wright (@MrDaneWright)