Bouncing Souls?! Playing a show in my ancestral homeland of New Jersey?! In Asbury Park?!? There is no way I’d miss that opportunity. When the Bouncing Souls announced that they were going to be playing three shows in a row at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, I knew I had to go. Asbury Park in the embodiment of summer for me, which all started back when I first saw my favorite band (the Souls) at Skate Surf back in high school as an angst filled teen. To this day, that first time seeing them was the best show I’ve EVER been to, and even though I’ve seen them plenty times, I was not about to miss seeing them in Asbury again.
I decided to go on Thursday night (12/27/07), since they announced that Thursday would be a show of songs they usually don’t play live.
The Low Budgets
I got to the venue REALLY early to make sure I didn’t miss these guys. These Philly heroes took the stage, and the crowd was immediately unimpressed. The Low Budgets seemed to be having a hard night all around, as the sound levels were all off (I couldn’t hear the vocalist at all), and they all seemed exhausted and not really wanting to be there. The Low Budgets also played a ridiculously short set. It was a huge letdown, but luckily, I can catch them in Philly anytime. Some highlights included:
World Inferno Friendship Society
Nothing could of prepared me for what I was about to witness. Ever see the movie Cabaret? That pretty much describes this band in a nutshell. The second they took the stage, the ENTIRE crowd which I originally thought may have been near comatose during the Low Budget set exploded into pits of moshing, ballroom dancing, skanking, and everything else in between. Amazing stage energy, hilarious stage banter (“Well you’re going to have to eventually listen to Ralph Nadar, because every time you drive, baby Jesus cries”), and just an overall strong hellish presence made me a new fan of the band.
Before the Bouncing Souls took the stage, they played some Bruce Springsteen (as they do at most shows)… Except, this time, they were playing The Boss in NJ, at The Stone Pony (where Mr. Springsteen got his start). Experiencing a strong sense of my Jersey pride, the entire crowd sang along to “Born to Run”, and instead of just playing a 30 second clip, they played the entire song. The second they took the stage, the Souls broke into my favorite song (I know it’s a strong statement, but it’s seriously my favorite song ever), “The Freaks, The Nerds, and The Romantics”. Without a second for air, they broke straight into “These Are The Quotes From Our Favorite 80s Movies”, and I knew it was going to be a good set. It was great to see my favorite band again (in Asbury nonetheless), as I noticed they always put on a more energetic show in the lovely state of NJ. There wasn’t any room whatsoever in the venue, and the crowd was 2/3 hardcore frat boy meatheads trying to hardcore dance, but I swore that I wouldn’t let the testosterone hyped crowd ruin my good time. The setlist was amazing, and while not in order:
The Freaks, The Nerds, And The Romantics
Some Kind of wonderful
lay em down, smack em, yack em
these are the quotes from our favorite 80s movies
sounds of the city
the new thing
ole (part of it)
all of this and nothing
the something special
streetlight serenade to no one
we’re coming back
kate is great
single successful guy