Before we dive into this review of Bowling for Soup’s final show that was recorded for release entitled Acoustic in a Freakin’ English Church, let me say a few things first.
Acoustic performances are some of my favorites to listen to and watch, I guess this comes from my childhood when my dad would religiously watch acoustic performances from Eric Clapton on VHS, I’m giving my age away a little here, but back to where I was going with this whole thing. Since the early 90s with MTV’s Unplugged series, we were given a glimpse of what bands like Nirvana and Alice in Chains could do when you stripped away the amplifiers, distortion pedals and heavy drums and replaced them with acoustic instruments, you had the band as they are, showing their musical talents and vocal ranges without the help of any outside or post-production forces.
I think acoustic shows are something that can make or break a band, to be completely honest, and I think this is the reason why we don’t see many of them anymore. I admit some bands are not made for acoustic shows and I won’t hold that against them in any way. There is something warm and inviting about the sound of an acoustic guitar and strong vocals. It gives the bands an opportunity to be more intimate with their fans and give them a performance they will never forget, and Bowling for Soup did just that with their first acoustic release.
Artist: Bowling for Soup
Album Title: Acoustic in a Freakin’ English Church
Release Date: 16 December 2016
Label: Brando Records
- Me With No You
- Since We Broke Up
- The Bitch Song
- Last Call Casualty
- Ohio (Come Back To Texas)
- Two Seater
- A Friendly Goodbye
- Goodbye Friend
- All Figured Out
- Punk Rock 101
- A Really Cool Dance Song
- If You Come Back To Me
This show was very special for half of the band, finding themselves inside the magnificent Union Chapel in London.
From the very first few minutes of the concert, the band was interacting with their English fans in a way that they wouldn’t have been able to in a larger scale venue, even at one point calling a fan on the upper balcony out about him interrupting them after the second song because it was his birthday, they were good sports about it, joking with him. This is exactly what I am talking about with shows like this, it gives fans access to the bands in a different way.
The two hour, 19-track setlist was enjoyable, the band played all of their hits from years before and the present, opening with “Me with No You,” and closing with one of their biggest successes, “1985.” The show kept me entertained with great music and laughter after every song. Jaret’s voice still sounds the exact same as it did in the mid-90s, giving the songs emotion and soul in a different tone and Erik’s backing vocals on each track gave them depth and balance.
Acoustic In A Freakin’ English Church is set to be available as a live CD and as a live DVD on December 16th. The releases will contain some fan favorites as well as a few rarely heard songs that capture the band in a wonderful and unique way. The releases can be preordered on the Bowling For Soup Pledgemusic website: www.drunkdynasty.com
The band was also announced as one of the headliners for the 2017 Slam Dunk Festival in Leeds, Birmingham, and Hatfield in the United Kingdom to make their debut at the festival.