Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno’s emo-rock ‘hometown heroes’ Mom Jeans return for Sad Summer Tour

Eric Butler, lead singer of Mom Jeans, remembers playing house shows with Bart Thompson, Mom Jeans’ current guitarist, at his house in Fresno. Before Mom Jeans, Thompson was a part of the Fresno-based band Meet Me In Montauk, hosting shows and rehearsals at his house. 

“When we played at Bart’s house, we just felt very at home. It was like a million degrees and we slept on the floor afterward,” Butler explains. “For the first third of the life of this band, Fresno was kind of where everything started and ended.”

Eric Butler sings lead vocals and plays lead Guitar for Mom Jeans. (Wyatt Bible/ The Collegian)

Butler and current drummer Austin Carango created Mom Jeans back in 2014 during their time at UC Berkeley.

Butler shared his thoughts with The Collegian about the recent trend of popular musical artists coming down to Fresno, expressing his enthusiasm for the deserved popularity for the Central Valley town.

“Fresno is a force of nature and [it] is always going to be doing cool, interesting things. We’re always just tickled to play here and it’s a place that not everyone can make the time for and not everybody feels like it’s worth the effort,” Butler said. “It’s like ‘Fine, more fun for us.’ We’re always happy to be the hometown heroes and make Fresno feel seen. They always make us feel seen in return.”

Fans cheer as Mom Jeans finishes performing a song. (Wyatt Bible/ The Collegian)

The emo-rock band sang to a roaring crowd at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. in Downtown Fresno, on Sunday, July 30.

People of all ages lined up decorated in Mom Jeans shirts, tote bags and other merchandise, trailing from outside of the entrance of the Tioga-Sequoia Beer Garden down Fulton Street.

Sunday evening served as the band’s final day of their Sad Summer Tour, promoting the release of their new song, “wassup;)” a re-released alternative version of the original song, “What’s Up,” from the band’s album “Sweet Tooth.” 

Zachary Gagams, a Fresno State biochemistry major, voiced his enthusiasm for the Central Valley’s recent music scene revival after mentioning that various artists including Pierce the Veil, Pitbull and, now, Mom Jeans have performed in Fresno since March.

“I think it’s great. I feel like people bash on the [Central] Valley because people say that there’s not a lot of things that are here,” Gagams said. “But I think if you look hard enough, there’s definitely something here, and I feel like a lot of people just don’t give enough credit to the audience.”

Austin Carango of Mom Jeans plays a drum fill. (Wyatt Bible/ The Collegian)

Several Fresno State students were spotted in attendance, waiting eagerly to watch one of their favorite bands live.

“It’s my first time seeing them, so it’s really cool that they’re doing a special show for us,” said Rachel Matejek, a psychology major. 

Star Ninety Nine, King of Heck and The Real Cheekface were the three different opening performers before Mom Jeans performed, each taking a turn at exhilarating the audience with alternative music. 

“Crybaby (On the Phone),” a song off of “Sweet Tooth,” was Mom Jeans’s opening song as soon as they hit the stage, amplifying the crowd with one of their newer songs. 

Mom Jeans performs the final song of their set “Scott Pilgrim V. My GPA” with singer Eric Butler playing Trombone.(Wyatt Bible/ The Collegian)

The setlist was a combination of classic songs from their earlier albums such as their first full-length 2016 album, “Best Buds” as well as newer songs.

The band also made sure to look out for their fans’ concert experience. 

Bassist Sam Kless was seen throwing water bottles out to the crowd throughout the show, while he and lead singer, Butler, frequently reminded the audience to give the people at the very front of the crowd some space while others danced. 

Mom Jeans bassist, Sam Kless, gets fans to wave during a song. (Wyatt Bible/ The Collegian) (Wyatt Bible)

The sense of admiration and care was not only towards the people who attended the show but also towards the entirety of Fresno. 

“It’s like a countdown, like how long do we have to wait until we can play Fresno again? It’s like a second hometown, there are so many family and friends here. Tonight really felt like a hometown show,” Butler said.


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