Review: Wheatus, The Tramshed, Cardiff

If you thought all there was to Wheatus was their early 00’s and recently revived hit Teenage Dirtbag, you would be very much mistaken.

Wheatus’ latest UK tour stopped off at Cardiff’s Tramshed on Thursday evening (rescheduled due to band illness) and got underway with an opening set from American rapper Damian Alexander Hess aka MC Frontalot. Bearing a striking resemblance to comedian, Harry Hill with a torch on his head, Frontalot delivered half an hour of Geek inspired hip-hop comic verse through tracks such as Start Over, Secrets From the Future and That’s the Story, That Ain’t How it Happened, the latter of which generated much audience participation.

The crowd, (which spanned a broad age-range) were well and truly in good spirits when Wheatus, fronted by Brendan B Brown took to the Tramshed stage performing a set-list of tracks literally shouted out by the crowd.

If you weren’t fortunate to grab a balcony spot or a front barrier viewpoint, the best look at the band came from the side lines of the venue. Amid the occasional tsunami wave of mobile phone cameras (which rose above people’s heads as the band struck up a diehard’s favourite), the energy of lead vocalist/guitarist Brendan, bassist Michael Milligan, keyboardist Brandon Ticer, drummer KC Marotta and backing vocalists Joey & Gabrielle tore through the venue with passion, fun and a love for their audience.

Delivered with thumping beats, precision and entertaining anecdotes that debunked song writing myths as well as educated those of less aware of the bands story came Leroy, Truffles, Fourteen, Something Good (a rebellious ode to the music industry) A Little Respect (yep, that rocked up Erasure cover) and Lemonade amongst others.

Of course, the band closed on their big one, Teenage Dirtbag (not autobiographical admits Brendan, although the songs true origins do make a very insightful documentary readily found on YouTube). Dirtbag is sang with passion by the band and ultimately taken over by the Cardiff crowd who clearly hold the track close to their playlists. MC Frontalot even returns to rap a chorus for us before Wheatus bring the song to a climatic end and the lights go out.

A band clearly at home in the live environment, you’d be hard pushed to find a better live gig experience in such an intimate setting. Catch them when they come to your neighbourhood!

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