The Front Bottoms Return To New Jersey
Champagne Jam 2017
By Ashley Gallagher
I remember being in the middle of Costco on December 16th with my little brother. I cannot even remember what I was looking for or what I was doing, but I remember getting an email saying that I got approved for press passes for Champagne Jam 2017. Champagne Jam is a mini festival in Asbury Park, where The Front Bottoms headline. Asbury Park is where I primarily go to concerts, so it was not new territory for me. What was new territory was concert photography (or should I say, real concert photography.) Needless to say I did not want to mess this up. Not only was it for my first show, but it was for The Front Bottoms. If you are unaware of The Front Bottoms, they are huge in college radio and the alternative/indie scene. They remind me of Modern Baseball, but The Front Bottoms are from New Jersey, so if nothing else, it was going to be a huge hometown show.
There was a lineup of ten bands spread out on two stages. They had smaller bands(Strange Eclipse’ Weakend Friends; The Big Easy; Slaughter Beach, Dog; Delicate Steve) on the Arcade Stage while the bigger names (American Trappist, White Reaper, The Districts, AJJ, and last but not least, The Front Bottoms) were on the main stage. I noticed a trend of bands that had unique sounds, but none felt very out of place when comparing to the headliner. Weakend Friends were very laid back and chill. They were the embodiment of what you think of when you think of indie music. AJJ and The Districts were more similar to The Front Bottoms in that they had a better stage presence than the smaller bands and wittier, more descriptive lyrics.
The Front Bottoms came out and played all of their most famous songs, and some of the less popular, like Au Revior and The Beers. They came out with their festive
Christmas Sweaters and a bottle of Champagne for each member. They also brought a couple on stage and they got to enjoy the concert for the stage on a couch, which I thought was inventive and cool. As for the crowd itself, everyone was really carefree and having a good time. People were dancing in the aisles, on the stairs, and enjoying really good music. Overall, it was my favorite concert over break.