the front bottoms: the road to champagne jam

The Front Bottoms

the norva (norfolk, va)

Since 2015, The Front Bottoms has held an annual celebration in their home state of New Jersey called “Champagne Jam.” The band brings along some of their own favorites to perform as well, creating a mini festival curated specifically for TFB fans. They’ve hosted bands like Slaughter Beach, Dog, Manchester Orchestra, Diet Cig, and this year will include Joyce Manor, Prince Daddy & The Hyena, Hotline TNT, and more! The band really knows how to throw a party, and that extends to all of their shows, so they bring the pre-Champagne Jam mini tour around the U.S. so those not local to the band have a chance to celebrate with them, too!

On the last date of The Road to Champagne Jam Tour they performed at The NorVa in Norfolk, Virginia. The band wasted no time jumping into their set, blasting the venue with bubbles while they sang “West Virginia.” Lead singer and guitarist Brian Sella likes to customize their songs to the city they’re in, and of course replaced “West” with “Norfolk,” even if it flows like concrete (IYKYK). Drummer Mat Uychich who makes up the other half of The Front Bottoms had his own platform surrounded with flowers on the stage. The setlist was a perfect mix of new and old songs, and even performed their fan favorite song, “Twin Size Mattress,” right in the middle of the set - while most would choose their most popular song for the end, this was just a sign that there was even better to come for the rest of the set. The band is known for mixing up their setlist every night, so no one really knows what to expect! The crowd was louder than ever singing every word to every song, even during the slower songs. The connection that the fans feel to the band doesn’t really have anything to do with how upbeat the music is, but more so the vulnerabile and personal lyrics in each song of theirs.

The encore consisted of other fan favorites, “Twelve Feet Deep” and “Flashlight,” and ultimately the show ended with the loveliest “Hello World,” which was recently rereleased under the Theresa E.P. alongside more rerecords. We can’t wait to see what Champagne Jam 2022 brings and we hope 2023 is full of even more opportunities to see The Front Bottoms!

photos & review by elyza reinhart