Bowling For Nostalgia
Written by Jenn Noga on October 22, 2019
Back in the year 2002, the boy genius himself Jimmy Neutron was captivating the hearts of myself and many other small children across the nation. This was my very first introduction to a band that would have many staple songs throughout my life.
In 2003, Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis graced the silver screen in the first remake of Freaky Friday. My dad bought me the soundtrack. I was five at the time and utterly OBSESSED with it, and not to age myself but it was one of the CDs that was most often played on my boombox. On the CD, there was a cover of the most iconic hit of my generation, …Baby One More Time by Bowling for Soup.
Flash forward a year later, and my dad and I are in the car listening to Radio Disney (which utterly annoyed the crap out of my dad so by that logic it was a staple on our car rides). The opening notes of 1985 grace my ears for the very first time.
In 2005, my brother (who is two at this point) is completely obsessed with superheroes. The movie Sky High had been released. This is another movie soundtrack not only I adored but also my little brother. Bowling for Soup covered I Melt With You and the music video was a special feature on the DVD.
In 2007, I was at my friends’ house at a watch party for High School Musical 2 and immediately following the movie was the premiere of Phineas and Ferb. Bowling for Soup graced us with the hit Today is Gonna be a Great Day.
Now, nearly 17 years after my first listen, I was given the opportunity to see Bowling for Soup live and in person. My dad, however, couldn’t be there with me. And before you ask, no my dad isn’t dead or anything, he just went camping with my brother and a bunch of boy scouts instead of hanging out with me. So shout out to my mom for coming with me.
Cleveland was the last stop on the US leg of the Good Vibes and High Fives Tour which BFS co-headlined with Less Than Jake and supported by Authority Zero. Now I had absolutely zero expectations for a band that’s been making music longer than I’ve been alive.
So, with a heart full of nostalgia I was ready to embark on what I can only describe as a spiritual journey that is a Bowling for Soup set.
The set is basically a comedy hour with some of their songs sprinkled in between. It wasn’t what I was expecting but I still had a pretty good time nonetheless.
Opening with The Bitch Song and then following immediately with Almost the crowd was already pumped and energized, thanks in part to Authority Zero. By the time the Phineas and Ferb theme was played, a mosh pit had already formed, along with some crowd surfing and by the end of the set, I reeked of alcohol because people were throwing drinks left and right.
I do have to give massive props to the staff for making sure no one got seriously injured, even if most of the crowd went against the no moshing rule.
There were people there of all ages, I think the youngest had to be about 3. There was a small group of kids with me in the barricade having the absolute time of their lives. I’m not even going to make an educated guess about how old the rest of the crowd was.
It really goes to show that even 25 years later, BFS has crossed generational lines and that is really cool.
However, I did have a few things I wish could have been done better. In comparison to Authority Zero and Less than Jake, Bowling for Soup was lacking on the stage presence. I had a better time watching the crowd because it was more interesting than what was happening on stage. I also wished they had played more music because that’s really what I came to see.
The jokes they cracked throughout the show were funny (and highly crude) and I laughed a lot, but I just felt like I had an idea in my mind of what the show would be and it wasn’t that. In all honesty, though, I think this show may have been a better experience had I have been under the influence of alcohol. This may have been my nostalgia talking.
It could very well have been the fact that I had many white claws thrown onto my outfit. And yes this includes the cans as well.
It’s rare to find bands that have been doing the music thing for this long and still sound the same as the recordings from 25 years ago. For that alone, I have to give them a round of applause.
The atmosphere of a Bowling For Soup show is not one that can be replicated, so if you have the opportunity to see them on tour definitely take that opportunity. You’re never going to experience another band that has the same swagger and persona that Bowling For Soup has.
You can catch Bowling For Soup in Europe for the next installment of The Good Vibes and High Fives Tour. Check out their website www.bowlingforsoup.com for more information.