Bowling for Soup’s tour in Detroit: A beach party without the beach

Live Review

Less Than Jake.Photo by Chyrisse.

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Live Review: Bowling for Soup with Less Than Jake, The Aquabats, and Don’t Panic – July 2, 2022 – Fillmore Detroit

Don’t Panic. Photo by Chyrisse.

I can think of nothing better than kicking off the July 4th weekend with the ultimate party band lineup–Bowling for Soup, Less Than Jake, the Aquabats, and Don’t Panic. With doors opening at 6 p.m., the line into the venerable Fillmore Detroit wrapped around the wall and continued for a good block. The crowd appeared to be a mix of Gen X’ers and their kids, with many wearing Aqua Bats costumes and band t-shirts.

At 6:30 p.m., the evening kicked off with Don’t Panic, a pop punk band from the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  They harmonized nicely, had a lot of energy as the lead singer/guitarist leapt into the air periodically, and really won over the crowd. The band said it was their first time in Detroit and asked if they would welcome them again, the crowd unanimously clapped with fervor.

Aqua Bats. Photo by Chyrisse.

The Aquabats came out on stage to a frenzy of fans who were dancing, jumping, and mouthing all the lyrics as they performed “Fashion Zombies!” and “Cat with Two Heads!”.  Wearing their characteristic aqua suits and skull caps, the band frolicked on the stage and threw giant beach balls and inflatable pizzas into the audience, making the evening a beach party without the beach. Two  kids rode the pizza wave up to the rear of the room as the band performed “Pizza Day!”  If all were not crazy enough, inflatable sharks were bouncing in the air, people were crowd surfing toward the barricade, and the band sang “The Shark Fighter!” I haven’t had this much fun since the Warped Tour!

Bowling for Soup. Photo by Chyrisse.

Bowling For Soup had the audience dancing and singing to “Ohio (Come Back to Texas)” and “High School Never Ends” as well as their new single “I Wanna Be Brad Pitt”.  There was plenty of banter and joke telling by each member, but Jaret Reddick earned the most claps with his joke: ‘What’s the difference between a garbanzo and chickpea? I’ve never had a garbanzo bean on my face.’

Reddick thanked the crowd for such a warm reception and noted the band hadn’t played in Detroit in awhile. He was glad there were no “drive-by’s” this time around. The band ended the set with a crowd favorite “Girl All the Bad Guys Want” and  “1985.”

Less Than Jake.Photo by Chyrisse.

Yet, there’s more! If we hadn’t partied our asses off already, the evening ended with yet another fantastic ska punk band Less Than Jake.  The band kicked off the set with “Automatic” and “Lie to Me.”  Roger Lima asked the crowd if they circle and encouraged them to do so. During “Last One Out of Liberty City” two stage hands with spring-loaded guns fired rolls of toilet paper into the audience.  The crowd went wild, started a circle in the middle of the floor, and more crowd surfing ensued! Chris Demakes told the audience he had just eaten at Detroit pizza institution Buddy’s and was “stuffed” but the crowd got him going before launching into “Gainesville Rock City.”

This concert was possibly the most memorable one of 2022 thus far. Honestly, it was like being on Warped Tour again. The evening was essentially a beach party without the beach. I may have to catch them again when they head toward St. Petersburg, Florida. You owe it to yourself to see these bands on their tour.






Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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