Review: Wheatus at the Arts Club

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Wheatus performing live © Vladimir / Creative Commons / Flickr.

Wheatus performing live © Vladimir / Creative Commons / Flickr.

‘Teenage Dirtbag’ was the song of the summer in the year 2000, but almost 15 years later it’s still hard to forget once you hear the title.

The brains behind the infamous, geeky lyrics are American six-piece, Wheatus.

After covering Erasure’s song ‘A Little Respect,’ a year later, they disappeared from the charts completely.

With almost 20 band member changes since they began, would they be able to fill the Arts Club in Liverpool?

The crowd in the venue was surprisingly diverse, varying from students in Blink-182 t-shirts to older fans, there to relive their rebellious teen years.

The now 40-year-old self-proclaimed ‘dorks’ came on stage to no cheers or applause, a lot of people perhaps thought they were sound-checkers, before kicking off with ‘Break It, Don’t Buy It,’ which started to energise the crowd.

As the night went on everyone started to enjoy themselves more, listening to lead singer Brendan B. Brown’s signature high notes on songs such as ‘Basketcase’, their Green Day cover.

They didn’t seem to have a set list, which actually made the gig more intimate, as they asked the crowd for suggestions of songs, such as ‘A Little Respect’ and ‘Lemonade’.

They haven’t lost their pop rock signature, with typical American lyrics like “Hey Mr Brown, don’t have a cow.”

They revealed their latest single ‘Only You’, featuring Josh Devine and Sandy Beales, the latter of which was announced to be touring with One Direction, news which was met with great boos from the crowd.

They didn’t take themselves too seriously either, with lyrics such as “we play in a band that has no fans” in ‘American in Amsterdam’, that they later changed to ‘American in Liverpool (or Scouseland)’.

The New Yorkers thanked everyone for buying tickets (£13 at the door) and said it had been a long two years since they last played in the city.

Brown said: “We really appreciate it. Thank you all so much for remembering us.”

Naturally, they finished their set by admitting that ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ was the reason they were on the stage, and invited a few friends on to sing alongside them, with Missy showing off her impressive rap skills.

They walked off stage to a huge cheer who had finally got what they came for.

About Bradd Chambers, JMU Journalism