Arriving with the hope of seeing one of the most successful pop-punk bands of the early noughties give an entertaining and enjoyable show, I didn’t leave too disappointed, just a little perplexed.
I’m unsure even where to begin with this clown show of a gig. Unfortunately, the entertainment and enjoyment Wheatus provided came neither from any deep and sincere lyricism nor beautifully crafted musicality. It came from the over excited (and I fear over-refreshed) crowd and the painful but laughable awkwardness of the backing singers who I only realised half way through were supposed to be part of the actual band.
The band’s stage presence, as you can probably imagine, was about as cohesive as a prit-stick. This may have something to do with Brendan B. Brown’s vocals being the only original part of Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ line-up, which, as expected, was the highlight of the set. The crowd went mental and the band perked up, looking marginally less like they were mentally begging Brown to stop doing his ‘quirky’ dance moves in-between songs and that it was them that could bring a gun to school and simply kick his ass.
The rest of the gig (i.e the remaining hour and twenty five minutes) left an incredible amount to be desired. Writing songs about 14 year olds, Mr. Brown, is outdated and at the age of 39, at the worst, a tad creepy. Covers included our favourite boy band One Direction’s ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ (an homage to the rich British musical culture Wheatus found themselves enthralled within, perhaps?) and one of the most poppy of punk songs from Green Day’s repertoire; ‘Basket Case’. “I wish I’d written this song”, Brown proclaimed before biting his teeth into it. I don’t think you do matey, Billy Joe Armstrong wrote this song about his impending panic disorder and anxiety. You’ve just taken the deeper meaning of the song and injected it with ignorance and fakery. Nice one.
During the course of this gig, Wheatus proved themselves to be a band unworthy to be even classed in the great genre that is pop-punk. This would require witticism and a lack of drudging banality. It was just the bad side of cheesy pop. Cheesy pop with a bass guitarist.