Army of Freshmen are first on the chopping block tonight and they are celebrating their 20th anniversary by resurrecting the Get Happy Tour with Bowling For Soup which originally debuted in 2006. Being cut from the same cloth as BFS, one knows what to expect from their live set; High energy pop-punk delivered with plenty of gusto and lashings of tongue-in-cheek antics and power poses. The guys provide an excellent opening salvo to tonight’s proceedings.
After a swift changeover, The Aquabats! take to the stage and things take a turn for the crazy. I didn’t know anything about the ‘Bats before the show, due to my not being a fully paid up member of the pop-punk genre, but what transpires over the next 45 minutes is nothing but unbridled fun for both band and crowd alike. Frontman The MC Bat Commander spends so much time jumping around he could be classified as a light aircraft and there isn’t an inch of the expansive stage that the other members don’t cover while running around. Putting this band on the bill was the work of a very clever person. Kudos also goes to the young fan who crowd surfed around the venue on an inflatable slice of pizza.
With the bar positioned on stage and the VIPs lined up behind the drum kit, it’s time for Texas’ favourite, fun loving punk rockers, Bowling For Soup. The big selling point of this Get Happy Tour is the band’s breakthrough album, Drunk Enough to Dance, being played in full each night, and those are the first songs through the speakers tonight. As this show is near the end of the UK run, the band have obviously hit their stride and by the time they get to “Girl All the Bad Guys Want” 3 songs into the set, the crowd are right there with them. It’s a full on sing-a-long fest for the night with the usual breaks in between songs for funny stories and taking the piss out of each other, and such camaraderie is always good to see from a band that has spent almost a quarter of a century together. This was the Get Happy Tour, and judging by the dancing and sweating throng packed into the Apollo, the people got very happy indeed.