The line snaked around the Palladium, down the street, and around the corner with fans of all ages. In the meantime, some lucky VIP’s walked right in on this hot summer day to take advantage of early access to the merch stands, the bar, and the ice-cold AC. The crowd with GA pit tickets moved their way to the front to secure their front-row experience for this epic night of four great bands. Everyone was amped up for a night of great music and fun!
The first band of the evening was a pop punk/rock band hailing from Pennsylvania, Don’t Panic. They got the audience warmed up with an energetic 7-song set including their new single “Let it Go” (2022). They also played tunes from both of their albums, See Through it All (2020) and Dark Horse (2021). The songs included, “Woe I,” What’s a Guy To Do,” and “Watership Down.” They have a great show with lots of crowd interaction. Singer/Guitarist, Ted Felicetti, talked about always wanted to play at the palladium, “And here we are.” The crowd screamed and applause soared through the venue. They played a great set and were well received by the crowd. They finished the set with their biggest song, “Fall of 99’.”
During the set change, a representative from the non-profit group, Punk Rock Saves Lives, came on stage to talk about the group’s mission (focus on health concerns, equal rights, human rights, etc.) and to notify the crowd that anyone willing could go get their cheek swabbed to see if they are a match for anyone in need of a bone marrow transplant. (See below for a link to their website).
As the set change was happening, parents with their children started making their way forward. The Aquabats are a rock/pop punk band that was originally formed in Huntington Beach, CA in 1994. These five heroes star in their own children’s show that is available on their YouTube channel. The concert started with an intro video on a large screen starring the band members, then they came out on stage in their signature costumes.
The music started with their song, “Fashion Zombies.” There were a lot of Aquabats fans in the house, not only were there children in costume, but adults as well. The Aquabats performed a 13-song set including “Martian Girl,” “The Story of Nothing,” and the popular “Super Rad.” These guys were so much fun to watch. Truly a feast to the eyes and ears. They were having a great time on stage; it really brings a smile to one’s face.
During their song “Pizza Day,” they brought a couple of children on stage and off those kids went off on inflatable pizzas to crowd surf. They had a blast! Prior to the song “Red Sweater,” The MC Bat Commander asked the audience if they wanted a break or a nap. The answer was a resounding, NO! He then asked if anyone wanted more water. The crowd answered with applause and he proceeded to throw water, from a bottle, into the crowd. This show was so much fun to experience. Inflatable pizza crowd surfing, inflatable sharks bouncing around the audience, kids bouncing happily on shoulders, and amazingly fun and upbeat music. At one point they poked fun as the always mis-pronounced city of Worcester (Woostah, Worchester…pick your mispronunciation…You will understand this, if you are from MA).
They ended their set with another hit song, “Pool Party,” complete with a full complement of large and extra-large beach balls bouncing through the crowd. It was truly a memorable performance.
Many of the children made their way away from the pit area during the set change. Next up was the ska punk band, Less Than Jake, co-headlining the show. This band originated in Gainesville, FL in the early 90’s with 13 EP/albums to date. LTJ started the set with the 1996 tune, “Automatic,” from their 1996 album Losing Streak, to loud cheers from the crowd that had been anticipating this moment.
It was fun to experience the energy in the room and from these musicians as they moved around the stage, interacting with the crowd. During “Last One Out of Liberty City,” sheets of toilet paper were being streamed into the crowd, making for a really fun moment. A fan from the crowd was brought up on stage for a song, he was brought a “piss warm beer,” and proceeded to dance on the stage throughout the song. Trombonist, Buddy Schaub, was running and jumping all over the stage as he interacted with band mates and the fans in the crowd.
At one point, he somehow got up on a large stack of speakers on the side of the stage. Less Than Jake played a fun and energetic 16 song set including “The Science of Selling Yourself Short,” “History of a Boring Town,” and “Plastic Cup Politics.” Fans were loving the set, crowd-surfing was frequent, and they even brought an “old guy” on stage (to dance) as an antithesis to the Aquabats bringing young kids on stage. LTJ finished the set with the popular 1998 tune, “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads,” the fans cheered with excitement.
Last up for tonight was Bowling For Soup, the popular pop punk / rock band that formed in Texas in the 90s. They came out to thunderous cheers and applause and went right into their hit, “High School Never Ends.” Many in the crowd were instantly transported back to their high school days, memories flooding back! This concert was a great time for all. The crowd loved and sang along when they performed to popular theme song to Phineas and Ferb, “Today is Gonna Be a Great Day.” They frequently interacted with the crowd and bantered back and forth with each other, including the Bowling for Soup Comedy Jam. Get to an upcoming show!
Not only for great music but a great time with lots of laughs. They played many of their hits, including “Ohio (Come Back to Texas),” “Almost,” and “Punk Rock 101.” About halfway through the set, Jaret Reddick (lead singer) mentioned that he knows that “when a band has been together for 28 years, the last thing you want are new songs. You’ve got a solid 40 minutes until 1985, so if that’s what you’re waiting for, now is a good time to go to the bathroom.” They then went into a new song from their 2022 album, Pop Drunk Snot Bread, “I Wanna Be Brad Pitt.” Such a fun song that meshes so well into their repertoire of music. BFS dedicated their song, “The Last Rock Show,” to the Aquabats and Less Than Jake whose CD’s (google if you don’t know what these are) they wore out, back in the day!
The crowd went wild when they heard the familiar starting notes to “Girl All the Bad Guys Want,” an anthem for all those who felt like they had to change themselves to get the guy/girl that they wanted! They crowd happily sang along throughout the song. Jaret then told the crowd, “At every show, there comes a time that we must say goodbye, and we are at that time.” They went into their final song, “1985,” one of their most popular songs and a cover that was originally done by SR-71 but made famous by BFS. During the song, they added an interlude of “Stacy’s Mom,” a song by Fountains of Wayne. They thanked the crowd and said goodnight! It was an amazing night of music by talented musicians who all had a great time along with the concert-goers.