Wheatus | Tribe Friday | MC Frontalot
The Garage, London
20th October 2023
Photography by Hannah North
I work as a photography assistant for prominent rock photographer Jill Furmanovsky, which launched me into taking photos at gigs. I fell in love with the music scene and capturing it in all ways possible. When photos weren’t enough I picked up a pen and started writing about the bands I was seeing. Now I am with CLUNK I can hopefully do that alot more!
Wheatus headlines the Garage in London, supported by Swedish band Tribe Friday and nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot
The doors of the Garage have been open for 30 years, and housed the likes of Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, and Muse. But on Friday the 20th of October 2023, the name that graced the marquee, the name that we all know very well, was Wheatus. On a night with middle-aged rappers and finding myself falling in love with a group of Swedes, it was one of the most bizarre evenings of my life – but more importantly, it was also among the most fun.
Promptly after the doors opened, Swedish based band Tribe Friday came on stage. Their bubblegum emo sound (very accurate description – it’s actually the name of their debut album) was just what the crowd needed to settle us into a night of the strange and the wonderful. Noah Deutschmann’s vocals were smooth and sultry, pairing surprisingly well with Zack Liljeberg’s thrashing drums, and the delightful strumming from Isak Gunnarsson and Robin Hanberger Perez. If you had no idea what they were in for when entering the Garage, you might think they were in for a whole night of fantastic European indie rock. But boy, would they be wrong.
Next on the bill was an act unlike anything you have ever seen before. Self described as a nerdcore rapper, MC Frontalot is a ball of energy. From the torch headband adorned on his forehead, to the Dungeons and Dragons banger titled ‘Critical Hit‘, MC Frontalot (government name Damien Hess) wouldn’t seem like the obvious opener for Wheatus. But it just works. There is now a selfie locked away in my camera roll of the two of us that will never ever be deleted. He’ll be touring the UK until mid-November if you want to see this nerdcore hip hop artist live and in person.
The night was not over yet, and that became evident when our headliner Wheatus was met with uproarious applause. Now in his 50’s, lead singer Branden B. Brown is still the teenage dirtbag we know him to be. We were informed that the new york band did not have a traditional setlist, but they would be taking requests from the audience! A personal favourite of mine was ‘A Little Respect’, during which I was told by a rogue audience member – “you look like you understand the vibes of Wheatus.” compliment or not, I took the comment on the chin and continued to dance the night away.
The finale was the song that defined a generation. ‘Teenage Dirtbag‘. A sea of torchlights and cameras went up, as did the singing voices of all in the room. MC Frontalot joined the band for a verse, and as the gig came to a close, hands in the shape of W’s could be seen like a sign of respect; or possibly a mating call.
I won’t divulge many of the details from the rest of my night, but I will say that it involved Tribe Friday, two members of Wheatus, and a Wetherspoon. I will also say that I now know drinking too much tequila causes me to lecture American drummers about European history. Catch the last dates of the tour while you can, it’s a great night of music, whatever your tastes might be.
Listen to ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ here: