I went to see Wheatus perform live in Lancaster. I will cut a long story short by saying that apart from the last song, 'Teenage Dirt-bag', it was very lame indeed. Every song sounded exactly the same, their music lacked any diversity of originality, and they made hopeless attempts at being talented by playing crap guitar solos. There was some deranged guy pretending to play the banjo and eating bananas, who then handed out the bananas to the crowd implying that they should be honoured to receive them and treasure and guard them and show them to their friends. My favourite part of the night then ensued when the crowd threw them back at the band, managing to hit the lead singer on the head and temporarily knocking him over, it was beautiful. Ok, so I enjoyed the very last part when they tricked us all in to thinking they were going only to surprise us by re-appearing to play their only good song, 'Teenage Dirt bag'. I must admit that that part rocked and I had a happy mosh with loads of sweaty teens, who covered me in bodily fluid, yum yum. All in all, I wouldn’t recommend going to see Wheatus, I recommend going down the pub first, getting drunk and going to see the last song, saving yourself a lot of waiting around amidst smelly dirt bags.
I saw that Wheatus were playing in London and decided that since it was only 12 quid I would drag a couple friends along to see what the band had to offer. Of the three I was the only one that owned their album. The other two were only really familiar with Teenage Dirtbag. We are a pretty cynical bunch when it comes to live music. None of us have a one bit of musical talent but that doesn't stop us from knowing what we like and voicing our opinions. I liked their album but wasn't sure that they could pull it off live. Arriving at the show we were a bit worried by the make up of the audience. I am 24 and my friends are all under 30 and we were by far the oldest non parents in the que. Imagine a place filled with teenage dirtbags and you are getting the picture. They were us 10 years ago ( if our parents let us go to rock concerts in the city on a school night). Our cynicism was added to by the support band - Dirty Harry. To put it simply they were horrid. The lead singer tells the kids to never do anything the teachers tell them and claims to be an idividual just before she kicks down the mic stand like almost every other rock wannabees I have ever seen. They were so bad that she had to say 'lets hear it for Wheatus' three times just to get applause. So, We are sitting there dreading what seems like a major disapointment waiting to happen when Wheatus finally take the stage. From their first note our cynicism started to fade. The filled the venue with sound with their opening number - Sunshine. It was so nice to hear some proper gutair after the horrid support band. They followed the opener with Hump'em and Dump'em but it was when they played their cover of A Little Respect that we knew we were in for something very special. As a rule I hate cover songs. Mostly because of the boy blands and girl groups who have been doing the entire back catalog of the Bee Gees and ABBA over recent years
. I am even more picky when it is a song I really liked the first time around. SO when I say they did the best version of A Little Respect I have ever heard I really mean it. It is good on the album but it doesn't even come close to what it was like live. Three kids of the 80's sitting in the balcony were singing our hearts out along side the kiddies. Kids singing a song like that - note for note - wonderful. My friend pointed out to me that the band are probably the same age as us and therefore knew the song as good as we did and that is why they treated it with such respect ( no pun intended). From that moment on the place was just on fire. They romped through mos of their album and played some new stuff. They encouraged people to get their tape players out and the lead singer joked that he expected to see the new stuff on Napster by the end of the night and that he would be disapointed if it wasn't. One of their 'new' songs was a cover of Paul Simon's Diamonds on the Soles Of Her Shoes. It was a nother good nod to the oldies in the audience and we all really appreciated it. Teenage Dirtbag was the first song of their encore and it was great of course. They ended the show with a song called Truffles which I am almost certain will be released. If it isn't it should be cause it is great fun on the album but was a true experience live. The lead singer and gutair player was very good but the real star of the show was the bongo player. He was nuts. I have never seen thrash accordian played before! Nor have I seen someone destroy a banjo on stage. This guy played so many instruments I lost count and managed to keep the kids laughing the whole way through. I just know they were all nerds in schol and I love the fact that they are now the ones on top. I was a nerd when I was in shcool back in the states. It takes one to know one. I was also pleased by the way the band looked out for the
ir younger fans. There was a lot of moshing going on down bellow and a couple times they stopped playing while the lead singer helped some kids who were getting crushed on to the stage for their safety. The audience was much younger than it really should have been for their calibar of performance. Teenage Dirtbag brought out the teens but really their music is older than that. I was disappointed that they didn't play what I consider to be the second best song on the album - Punk Ass Bitch. The only reason I can think is that they thought the title was too much for such a young audience. The title is censored on the album. A shame because they played everything else so well I was sure that it would be blistering. Hopefully as they release more songs and do the fests this year they will turn on the older fans. One of my friends was over from the States and I told him that I thought that even though Wheatus are American I felt they were the type of band that would do better over here. His answer was 'not if I have anything to do with it'. They were that good.