It’s been a long time since I’ve seen MC Lars, so I took the opportunity to head down to Leicester on Saturday. He was supporting Bowling for Soup, along with Zebrahead, so it seemed like a win-win-win situation. As a bonus, the gig was at the de Montfort Hall in Leicester, a theatre which provided the bizarre experience of a ten-minute warning before the first band, and plush seating in the circle. Weird, but cool.
Lars has always been a crowd favourite, and has always delivered too, but I got the impression something wasn’t quite right last weekend. It may have been dodgy sound, or it may be the effects of a long tour, but he definitely wasn’t as polished as I’ve seen in previous performances. It was disappointing, but I think his fan base is strong enough to forgive him the odd blip. I know I’ll certainly still check him out next time he’s over, anyway. He’s got a great mix of intellectual and observational lyrics, with great tunes behind them – well worth a look if you’re not familiar with him. Oh yeah, Failsafe did a great job as his backing band (which I didn’t realise was happening until they all appeared on stage!).
Zebrahead are one of those bands that I’ve noticed touring hundreds of times and never quite got around to seeing. It was a pleasant surprise to find them playing this date then, and they obliged with a fun set. Highlights included making the entire audience sit down for five minutes, and getting around 600 people to shout “Minge!” at regular intervals. The lighting improved from the sole red gels used to light Lars, and with plenty of room in the press pit it was easy enough to get some shots from a band obviously used to putting on a good show for photographers and proper people alike!
Bowling for Soup were incredible when I saw them almost exactly four years ago, with a show which started at midnight with them absolutely battered, and continued through fun and hi-jinks until the early hours. I left at 02:30 and they were still going strong. Saturday was a more restrained affair, in support of the new album Sorry for Partyin’. Nevertheless, there was a good mix of material in there. Experienced bands are always better to photograph, and the improved lighting meant another dual-guitar shot was in order. It’s quite rare you get these because of the speed at which people normally move, and access to the stage, so I thought I’d make the best of it! It was all good, clean fun and it was great to see BFS still going strong.