I don’t head out to NJ’s Starland Ballroom very often anymore, it’s a bit of a ride and a bigger venue. But I’ll make an exception for those fucking New Jersey mooches The Bouncing Souls. When I first bought tickets to the show when it was announced, I was thrilled as a NJ born and bred punk kid, they’ve been my favorite band for many years now.
But when The Bouncing Souls announced that they were playing How I Spent My Summer Vacation in it’s entirety, I was pretty pumped: last time I tried to see this album in it’s entirety (exactly 4 years and 2 days of the show) I shattered my arm and had to leave early, eventually needing about 20 screws and 2 steel plates. I wasn’t planning on crowd surfing this time, and kept it in the pit.
My girlfriend and I got to the venue and while it wasn’t sold out, it was decently packed. I got there right as folk punks Andrew Jackson Jihad were setting up.
Andrew Jackson Jihad:
I caught Andrew Jackson Jihad once before, and they put on a killer show so I was excited to catch them again. The band was on stage when the Starland Ballroom screen lifted, to which they made of fun a bit and instantly kicked into their folk punk tunes to a very receptive crowd. With many shouting along, they played a killer set with plenty of energy (with the singer doing somersaults to lighten up the rather somber yet epic closer “Big Bird”).
Andrew Jackson Jihad are easily one of the best live folk punk bands around, and if they come around your area, go check them out.
Gift Of The Magi 2: Return Of The Magi
The Bouncing Souls:
After a few good chants of OLE and Here We Go as is custom before their set, The Bouncing Souls took the stage and immediately broke into “That Song” which had us in the crowd singing and moving throughout their set playing How I Spent My Summer Vacation. The set was a bit of a whirlwind, and every song had people dancing. Greg seemed more energetic on stage with the mic, even diving into the crowd at one point.
After the Souls finished up How I Spent My Summer Vacation closer “Gone”, they left the stage for a bit to chants of Here We Go. When they announced the show, they said they were going to showcase some new songs as well, but they definitely surprised me by playing a bunch of other songs off older albums as well. They took the stage again and started their encore with the Ramones cover (who were covering Bobby Freeman) “Do You Wanna Dance?”
The new songs that the band played were actually pretty tight, and sounded much more like the traditional Bouncing Souls that I know and love. Minus a few songs, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Comet or the slower songs from Ghosts On The Boardwalk but loved the song they did on their latest Shocking Split with The Menzingers so I’m excited to see what they’ll put out next. Oh, and they played my favorite song ever “The Freaks, The Nerds, And The Romantics”? Yeah, I’m happy. Bonus I didn’t break my arm this time around
Setlist (Mostly Complete, Order might be off):
How I Spent My Summer Vacation Set:
The Something Special
Streetlight Serenade (To No One)
Do You Wanna Dance (Ramones/Bobby Freeman cover)
Sing Along Forever
Quick Check Girl
East Coast Fuck You
Lean On Sheena (Avoid One Thing cover)
Kate Is Great
Joe Lies When He Cries (I think they did this one)
The Freaks The Nerds And The Romantics
Here We Go
Night On Earth