The Front Bottoms at The Regency Ballroom by Estefany Gonzalez
The Front Bottoms (photo: Estefany Gonzalez)

The Front Bottoms  played the Recency Ballroom two times — wait no, three times, a fan reminded singer Brian Sella from the audience at the Regency on November 6.

The punk-folk outfit consisting of Sella and drummer Mathew Uychich have played countless festivals including Lollapalooza, ACL Music Festival, Panorama, Coachella, and you might have caught them on TV while watching NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Together, the New Jersey duo write honest, heartfelt compositions with wonderfully specific lyrics that share snippets of their lives. Sella’s memorable guitar riffs are balanced out by Uychich’s high-energy drum beats and are accompanied by a full band during live shows. The songs are witty, catchy, and relatable enough that hundreds of Bay Area fans lined up around the building by 5pm, when I caught up with the pair before the show.

The Front Bottoms at The Regency Ballroom by Estefany Gonzalez

The Front Bottoms have played in the Bay countless times over a more than 10-year music career and performed at venues as intimate as the 300-seat Oakland Metro Operahouse and large ones like the 5,000 capacity Event Center at San Jose State University. Yet, the Regency Ballroom seems to hold special memories for the band.

“The first tattoo I ever gave was in a dressing room upstairs,” Stella said after the band came back on stage for a four-song encore fans demanded with loud cheers.

Sella mentioned previous adventures at the venue earlier in the night, too. During a small break in the set, he reminisced over the band’s first time at the ballroom. He mentioned they were robbed a night before, but talked about the concert fondly, anyway. “It was still a good night,” he told the crowd.

Sella’s soft spot for the venue made sense when thinking back to how well the singer seemed to know the space earlier in the day, when he took Uychich and me to a fire escape hidden by a large wooden window most would unknowingly walk past.

The Front Bottoms at The Regency Ballroom by Estefany Gonzalez

While the nostalgia of prior shows was present, the Going Grey tour, in support of the band’s new album Going Grey, was full of new memories, too.  The band kicked off the show with “You Used to Say (Holy Fuck)” and played other tunes off the new record like “Vacation Town.” Also, let’s not forget the moment in the set when nearly every middle finger on the general admission floor was raised and held in the air through the entirety of “Peace Sign,” another new song with a chorus chanting, “Next time that she sees him, it’ll be peace sign, middle finger.”

The Front Bottoms at The Regency Ballroom by Estefany Gonzalez

Of course, the night wasn’t all new tracks. The concert also featured classics like “Au Revoir (Adios)” and “Twin Size Mattress” off the band’s sophomore album, Talon Of The Hawk. Other songs on the set list also included “The Plan (Fuck Jobs)” and “Cough It Out” off the band’s last release Back On Top, as well as a performance of “Peach,” once a fan in the front row requested it.