The Front Bottoms brought their annual year-end celebration, known as the “Champagne Jam,” to Philly this past Friday night. With a stacked two-day lineup featuring names like Joyce Manor, Soul Glo, Kevin Devine, and the Front Bottoms themselves, people from all over the area flocked to the Fillmore for two nights of incredible music.
I had the opportunity to go to the first night of the jam on December 16th, featuring Flycatcher, Sweet Pill, Another Michael, Slothrust, Lunar Vacation, Emperor X, Joyce Manor, and the Front Bottoms.
The first band I was able to catch on Friday was the local Philly group, Sweet Pill. After releasing their debut album, “Where the Heart Is,” and touring with La Dispute, the band has been drawing attention from all over the country. Their fiery, emotional, and hard-hitting music pulls an audience in and gives them no other choice but to headbang along. With an electric, powerhouse of a lead singer and four incredibly talented instrumentalists, Sweet Pill has the ability to change the energy of any room in a heartbeat.
After watching Sweet Pill completely obliterate their set, I was able to run downstairs and catch a band I’ve been wanting to see for years— Joyce Manor. Joyce Manor is one of the most iconic emo bands of the 2010s and has only continued to grow in popularity since their formation back in 2008. The band released their 6th studio album this past June and has been making new waves yet again. Opening their set with a crowd favorite titled “Beach Community,” the fans spent the entire song and the rest of the set yelling back the words just as loud as the music was playing.
From there I ran back upstairs to the Foundry to try and see the beginning of Slothrust’s set. The trio Slothrust reigns from Boston and is well-known for their unique sound. Having only heard a few of their songs, I was extremely excited to get the chance to see this group live—and they did not disappoint. Slothrust sounds like a mix of garage rock, indie, punk, and even a bit of alternative rock all mashed together to create a one-of-a-kind sound that so many fans love. Plus, their stage presence is insane.
After having the opportunity to watch and photograph these three incredible bands, it was finally time to see the hosts close out the first night of the Champagne Jam. As the Front Bottoms took the stage in the Fillmore, screams of absolute joy overtook the room. They opened their set with an old, beloved tune titled “West Virginia,” and you could already see tears forming in the front row’s eyes. Since their formation over a decade ago, the Front Bottoms have had an innate ability to connect with a crowd. Their emotional, nostalgic lyrics and unique blend of emo, indie, and punk rock sounds have allowed them to create countless hits that resonate with people all over the world. As the set went on, white balloons dropped from the ceiling as fans screamed and the band played to a room full of bliss.
After almost a decade of putting on the event, the Front Bottoms managed to create yet another successful, euphoric celebration of music and friends to end the year.
Write up and photos by Erika Lyijynen, if reposting please credit @exrka & @almostfamouszine.