Acoustic delight on S-S-S-Saturday night
Many acts preparing for an acoustic slot over the weekend may have brought their whole band to the vivid orange Jagermeister stage, but Bowling For Soup stuck to the tactic they knew best, choosing to send only frontman Jaret Reddick and bandmate Erik Chandler out to the frontline, each armed with a microphone and an acoustic guitar.
Before they even began their first song of their eagerly-anticipated set, 'High School Never Ends,' the pair had begun to improvise with an impromptu song directed at the enormous crowd that they had attracted. Immediately breaking the ice for any festival attendee treading out to see if Bowling For Soup would be of interest to them, smiles began to spread infectiously and laughter drifted out into the evening sky.
Although their stripped-down sound suited the intimacy of smaller club gigs on their acoustic tours, the outside festival environment did them few favours. The translation of their power chord punk unfortunately seemed somewhat lacking, leaving them battling to fill out a relatively sparse sound. As with their band performances, the vocal teaming of Reddick and Chandler gave strength to their performance, providing the harmonies that the guitar textures lacked.
Easing through a delightful set bursting with loveable choruses and even further spontaneous songs, Reddick and Chandler were clearly destined to successfully complete their mission of bringing amusement to the second day of Download Festival 2011. Concluding with popular hits '1985' and 'Girl All the Bad Guys Want,' the twosome bid farewell, but not before hanging around to meet and greet the fans; the people they appreciate who have helped to get them to where they are this day.
As with their full band sets, a Bowling For Soup show is first and foremost concentrated on entertainment. The duo's acoustic sound may not have been one of the finest over the three day weekend, but the comedy value offered was second to none. Whether an acoustic act or a full electric band, Bowling For Soup make a marvellous addition to a festival line-up and should always be pencilled into your schedule.