For one of AnEmergencyScene's first shows of the new year, it makes sense to welcome two touring bands who made a big splash in 2011 and show no signs of slowing down.
New Jersey native indie pop duo The Front Bottoms will join fellow indie rockers Mansions at 5 p.m. today at The Altoona Masonic Temple, 600 Jackson Ave., Altoona, along with openers On The Run, Ship Wrecks and Jacob Petalive. Tickets are $10 at the door.
The Altoona stop is one on a week-long tour for the two bands, which Alternative Press magazine names as one of its "14 Winter Tours Worth Attending."
Christopher Browder is the frontman for the indie rock band Mansions, who will perform in concert with The Front?Bottoms at the Altoona Masonic Temple today.
The Front Bottoms consist of Brian Sella (above), guitarist and vocalist, and Matt Uychich, drummer.
Ryan Wapner, founder and promoter for AnEmergencyScene, said he's glad to bring such a tour to Altoona.
"I think, with these bands, it'll be an intimate show," Wapner said. "But the kids that are there will never forget it."
Christopher Browder, frontman for Mansions, said the band is happy to play Altoona again, having not played here since 2008.
If you go
What: Mansions and The Front Bottoms with On The Run, Ship Wrecks and Jason Petalive
When: 5 p.m. today
Where: Altoona Masonic Temple, 600 Jackson Ave., Altoona
Details: Tickets are $10 at the door.
"I'm glad we get to hit some cities that aren't just Philadelphia and New York and that kind of thing," he said. "It's fun to get to play the other places."
Browder cites artists like Ryan Adams, Spoon and Weezer as influences for Mansions' music. Though the band had a quiet 2011 when it came to touring, the release last April of their second full length album, "Dig Up The Dead," made some noise, and was featured on several year-end top album lists.
Browder said that recognition, as well as the positive reviews it got, was very rewarding.
"When I was making it, we didn't have a label involved at that point, and no one was interested in us whatsoever," he said. "We were in a nice little bubble where I could work on it totally uninterrupted or bothered by anything. But it was also, like, is anyone going to care or is anyone going to like this? We knew that we liked it, but we didn't know if anyone else would be interested.
"So to have it come out and people be, like, no you're not totally crazy, this is good we like it, that's the best feeling."
Because Browder produced and mixed the album on his own, being complimented on the way it sounded also meant a lot to him.
"I did a lot of stuff that was, like, weird or technically incorrect, to where I thought I like how this sounds, but it might sound kind of weird to people or just too low-budget," he said.
Coming off the success of their self-titled debut and looking forward to tours with Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids and Kevin Devine, The Front Bottoms' singer and guitarist Brian Sella said the band is happy with where they are.
That is, especially for a musical project that transpired between two childhood friends that was "just a fun thing that we did because we were bored," he said.
"So now it's like, oh wow, real people, other people that we don't know, enjoy this music? That's kind of weird," Sella said. "But I love it. If I'm able to play in front of people, me and Matt [Uychich, drummer] will just keep doing it until people just stop showing up."
The band's punk-tinged indie pop isn't "super complex," Sella said, which sometimes makes it hard to explain or put into a definitive genre.
"I always try to just describe it as whatever people want to hear," he said. "If I look at someone and I [think] that person definitely likes reggae music, I'm just like 'Oh yeah, we're a reggae band.'"
Despite the joke, accessibility is a major goal for the band. Sella said he has a lot of respect for any band able to reach a broad audience.
"There's a lot of thought put into the music and the way it comes together," he said. "I want to make something that people can enjoy, like that my mom can enjoy as well as my girlfriend or my best friend - kids my age as well as older people.
"I just want to make it so it strikes a chord with everybody, not just a specific crowd of people."
For the crowd present tonight, Sella promises "good energy and good vibes."
"No matter what, no matter what happens throughout our day, no matter what tour is going on, every night we get on stage, if there are five people in the audience, I'm going to try to make sure that those five people are having an awesome time," Sella said.
With the help of his full-time bassist and a touring drummer, Browder said Mansions will deliver a "fuzzy and loud" rock show that isn't meant to mimic the record.
"I think that's kind of boring," he said. "I like taking the songs and seeing how they can work live in the best way versus how they can sound exactly like the CD. So I think it's a different take on the stuff, but still the same."
As for the rest of 2012, Sella said the plan is to simply keep doing what they're doing.
For Browder, the hope is to stay busy and continue working on new material. He added that the band will probably play a new song at tonight's show.
"I think we have some good momentum going," Browder said. "So yeah, it should be a good year."
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.