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Bowling For Soup Brings the Fun to RiverFront Ribfest 2018

We are the greatest band to ever live!!

Jarrett Reddick and his band Bowling For Soup sure know how to put on a show. Normally a band gets a few songs into the set before proclaiming they are the greatest ever. Bowling For Soup is not your average band. Less than two minutes into their monster hit “Almost” the music stops and Jarret proclaims “That’s right, we stopped the song for dramatic affect”, and then asks the crowd “Who here has seen us before?” several hands go up. “Who here is seeing us for the first time?” the majority of hands go up. “For those of you seeing us for the first time, have you already figured out that we are the greatest band to ever live!!?” I about died from laughter. I knew we were in for one heck of a show.

Before Bowling For Soup came on I talked with Jen, her husband, and young daughter. Jen was wearing a New Found Glory “20 Years of Pop Punk” shirt. I told her I had caught that tour when they came to Omaha late last year. She said she and her husband were huge fans and NFG was her all time favorite. I assumed they had seen Bowling For Soup before and she said “Of course!” They had so many great stories of following pop punk bands like New Found Glory, Bowling For Soup, and Less Than Jake all over the U.S.

Last year on the warped tour they took their young kids and they got pulled up on stage because they were wearing Less Than Jake shirts. When they met up with Less Than Jake on the Warped Tour this year, their kids said “Hey, why didn’t you bring us up on stage again!?” Less Than Jake replied “Because you were wearing Reel Big Fish shirts!” The family that goes to punk rock shows stays together!

My favorite tidbit Jen relayed though was when she and her husband did a meet and greet for Unwritten Law. They showed up to the venue and they were the only people who purchased a VIP package. The band came out and asked if they had a car. They said yes, and Unwritten Law said their bus wouldn’t start and asked if they could give them a jump! The band gave them five dollars for their troubles and the couple now has an Unwritten Law poster on their wall with $5 tacked to it. Man, what an awesome family. I had a great time talking with them.

As I waited with Jen and her family the front of the stage really started to fill up. The crowd starting chanting “Bowling For Soup!” Finally, the Texans had arrived and they were met with thunderous cheers as the crowd roared.


Bowling For Soup brought the hits! As I mentioned above, they started with mega-hit “Almost”, but they also played “Ohio (Come Back to Texas)”, “Girl All the Bad Guys Want”, “High School Never Ends”, and of course the smash hit “1985”. Unlike Tonic who played in the slot before them, I think Bowling For Soup was very aware of their mid-level status and that they live on a few hits from the 2000s. Jerrett mentioned several times that they were much older and fatter, but they could still rock! I have to agree, I thought the songs were really well done. They even pulled out the theme song from Phineas and Ferb! I wonder if they still get a decent royalty check for that? As Jamey Jasta would say, “They got that Nickelodeon money!”

There were so many funny moments too. I feel like I went to a comedy show and got to hear a few rock songs mixed in! About halfway through the set, the band stopped the song and said “sometimes we just need a 30 second band break” as “Angel” by Sarah McLachlin played. This got so many laughs.

Jarrett also mentioned that the closing act Spin Doctors were playing their first show with their new drummer. Just then, BFS’s drummer Gary hit the fill from Spin Doctors biggest hit “Two Princes”. Jarrett said “Man, that was perfect timing on that fill!” If things don’t work out with Spin Doctors drummer Gary will just have to fill in! I found this to be hilarious and they kept playing that fill throughout the rest of their set and referencing back to the Spin Doctors.

I’d like to see Bowling For Soup make their way back to Omaha again soon. I could see this being an even better show if it was a smaller venue. We left shortly after Bowling For Soup due to the hot and muggy weather. Sorry Spin Doctors! Gonna have to catch them next time. I was really happy with our Rib Fest experience. The promoters brought a diverse line-up of acts and the food was tasty as well. I hope they can bring another strong line-up of acts in 2019!

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