Tag Archive for music

Mustard Plug, Backyard Super Heroes, Teenage Halloween Live In NJ (11/14/15)


I’ll admit it, it’s the year 2015 and I still shamelessly love ska and especially Mustard Plug.  So much in fact, that I travelled 3 hours round trip to Brighton Bar, a small dive out in Long Branch NJ in order to get my skanking on since Mustard Plug was skipping over Philadelphia for some reason.

My girlfriend and I got there right as locals Teenage Halloween were setting up, and the place was decently packed for being an 18+ ska show.

Teenage Halloween:

Teenage Halloween

I’ve never heard of these Asbury Park locals before, but Teenage Halloween had a decent amount of fans there for them dancing throughout their set.  Even though they had horns and like 9 people in the band (including a banjo, etc) I’m hesitant to call them a ska band, as they were more of an indie-pop-punk-folkish band with horns than anything related to ska.

Indie folk isn’t exactly my cup of tea but I was told they sounded a lot like Nana Grizol.  They’re young and definitely have potential, so if you’re into that music check them out.  They don’t really have much online currently (besides like an acoustic song) but they did put on an energetic set and you should check out their live show.


Backyard Superheroes

Backyard Superheroes

Even though I’ve never heard of Backyard Superheroes, before they even started playing I could guess what they would sound like based on the name, sunglasses, mutton chops, and bowtie. I could guess they were your typical goofy but fun ska crew mostly influenced by bands such as Reel Big Fish and The Aquabats.

With an older guy on stage giving an intro speech running around with the setlist taped to his shirt, and the second they started playing had fans running around in superhero costumes it definitely was starting to feel like a bit of an Aquabats show.

The band ripped through their 3rd wave ska set as fans skanked throughout.  Throwing in a few covers as well, including a ska rendition of The Bouncing Souls “True Believers” (we are in Jersey…) and the obligatory Operation Ivy cover.

Mustard Plug:

mustard plug

Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Mustard Plug has been at it since 1991, and while they never reached the mainstream success some of the other ska bands of their time did (Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Mighty Mighty Bosstones) they have been over time one of the most consistent and solid ska bands around.  Every album in their discography is a great listen whether you’re going back from Skapocalypse Now or to their latest Can’t Contain It, and personally, they’re one of my favorite ska bands around.

Once Mustard Plug took the small stage and immediately opened into “Send You Back”, us older in the crowd immediately opened up a pit in front of the stage skanking throughout the entirety of the set. Ripping through all their classics and playing a nice mix from the majority of their albums (except Yellow #5 for some reason… they must really hate that album) the band put on a fun and energetic set.

Singer Dave took some shots at his own age “I can’t see the setlist because the font is too small for my old eyes.  And my knees just feel like they’re going to give out at any minute and snap from under me from years of skanking.” and made sure to take a shot at the crowd’s age as well after a circle pit song and people were sitting down due to exhaustion in between songs: “Please stand up, you don’t have to dance anymore but don’t sit that’s just making us depressed”.

A fun set, Mustard Plug is still one of the best ska bands around and still put on a killer time.

Send You Back
Skank By Numbers
Away From Here
Brain On Ska
Time To Wake Up
Everything Girl
Waiting Room (Fugazi Cover)
The All-Nighter
Mr. Smiley
Aye Aye Aye
Life Is Too Short
Shakin It Up
Hit Me Hit Me
Vodka (not sure what this is… on setlist)
On and On

Mustard Plug – Hit Me! Hit Me!

How to be a 3rd wave ska dork
Mustard Plug – Can’t Contain It

Mustard Plug – In Black and White
Mustard Plug – Evil Doers Beware

Mustard Plug

Mean Jeans, Nancy, Ruby Buff Live In Philly (11/6/15)

mean jeans flyer

Last Friday, I headed out to Philly’s warehouse/house Second Empire to catch one of my favorite Ramones-worship punk bands around, Mean Jeans.  I’ve never been to Second Empire before, but it was a pretty sweet spot that reminded me of Philly’s old Ox, but with more punk studs everywhere (including doors).  Unfortunately I missed both Teenage Chainsaw and Dark Thoughts, two of my friend’s very solid Philly bands that I really was hoping to catch, but Dark Thoughts were just finishing up as I got there.

Ruby Buff:

RubyBuffI’ve never heard of Ruby Buff before, but the Philly 3-piece played punk rock influenced power pop.  Playing your typical 3 chord punk rock with less distortion and a bit more experimental sounds including some new wave and indie influences, they reminded me a bit of bands like Radiator Hospital and Chumped.  Playing to a pretty packed converted garage with a stage, plenty of people seemed to be digging their punk-pop set.

Another band I’ve never heard before this show, I have to say that NYC’s Nancy completely blew me away.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when the dressed up in mexican wrestler costumed duo took the stage.  With just guitars and drums, the shared vocal duty duo launched into some good old fashioned 70s style punk rock pulling plenty of influences from The Dickies, New York Dolls, and countless more.  With incredibly catchy riffs, humor, and a high energy set, these two dudes put on a hell of a live show.

Mean Jeans:
I’ve been a fan of the Portland punks ever since they came out with “Are You Serious” a few years back, and their show last year with Kepi Ghoulie at the Golden Tea House was seriously one of the most fun shows I’ve ever been to so I was pretty stoked to be seeing them again.

The band took the stage to immediate sound problems with the guitar cutting out during the first song which resulted in them stopping, but that didn’t deter anyone because as soon as they fixed the issues we immediately were shouting along and pogo-ing.

Keeping stage banter to a minimum, Mean Jeans let their music speak for itself with their lyrics about partying, space, and rock and roll.  Definitely a solid time, Mean Jeans are constantly an incredible live band, and it was awesome seeing them in a small space like this again.  With them signing to Fat Wreck, who knows how big they’re going to blow up so go party with them while you have the chance.

Life On Mars
Slime Time
Steve Don’t Party No More
Ready 2 Rip
Party Animal
Forever In Mean Jeans (I think they did this one)
Case Race
Anybody Out There
Let’s Pogo B4 U Gogo
DUI Checkpoint

Mean Jeans – Rats Roaches And Jeans
Nancy – I Want One
Mean Jeans – Are You Serious

The Copyrights, Not Scientists Live In Philly (10/25/15)

Halloween is finally over, it’s getting dark much earlier, and I finally am getting a chance to catch up on posts a bit.  Last week, I headed out to South Philly’s bar Boot & Saddle to catch one of my favorite pop-punk bands around The Copyrights open up for Masked Intruder.  I wasn’t expecting a big crowd due to the fact it’s a Sunday 21+ show, but the small room was decently filled up.  I’ll admit, I did split before Masked Intruder took the stage, but I was able to catch the opener Not Scientists.

Not Scientists:

I never heard Frances Not Scientists before, but I was thoroughly impressed by their set.  Featuring members of bands such as Uncommonmenfrommars and No Guts No Glory, they’re relatively new, only existing for just shy of two years now.  The band seemed in pretty high spirits as they ripped through their pop-punk set, with a few stand out songs being “Leave Stickers On Our Graves” and “I Wanna Be A Spaceship”.

Even though the band mostly played pop-punk, there were definitely some hints of more experimental and indie through a few songs, which is more pronounced through their recorded work than their live show.

The Copyrights:

Carbondale Illinois The Copyrights have been at it for a long time now (13 years), and have a solid 6 full lengths under their belts… needless to say they’ve pretty much perfected their pop-punk sound.  Even though I’ve seen them a bunch, I haven’t had a chance to catch them since their last release of their latest LP Report.

It was clear that the majority of people in the crowd were there for Masked Intruder and didn’t know much by The Copyrights, there were still plenty of us singing along.  Keeping stage banter to a minimum, the Illinois punks fit in plenty of songs in from mostly Report and North Sentinel Island, but fit in a few from older releases too.

Always a solid set, The Copyrights are one of the best bands in pop-punk around and if they’re in you’re area, go do yourself a favor and catch them.

Setlist (From what I remember, not in order):
Hard Wired
The World Is Such A Drag
Heart Of Glue
Charlie Birger Time
Trustees Of Modern Chemistry
Shit’s Fucked
Kids Of The Blackhole
No Knocks
Keep The Change
Worn Out Passport

The Copyrights – Trustees Of Modern Chemistry

The Copyrights – North Sentinel Island
Banner Pilot – Resignation Day
The Holy Mess – Benefits Sesh

Streetlight Manifesto Live In Philadelphia (10/18/15)


Long time no see friends!  After a busy few weeks (weddings, traveling, not getting to see Dillinger Four because of the forementioned reasons…) and a hectic weekend, I headed out to Philly’s Electric Factory on a whim this past Sunday in order to see Streetlight Manifesto.  I got there late and unfortunately missed almost all of Dan Potthast’s set except for his song about the Baltimore Ravens.

I was pretty surprised how packed the venue was for a ska show on a late Sunday night, I didn’t know people (especially younger kids) were still really into my beloved ska.  But I was surrounded by kids in pork pie hats, checkerboard patterns, and plenty of suits like it was 2001 all over again.

Now I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical about going to this show at first because the last time I saw them I didn’t have the greatest time.  Not so much because of the band themselves (although they sort of loss me after all the cover albums they released) but the show was just nothing like when I used to see them years ago since their inception.  But I decided to not be an old grumpy curmudgeon, go anyway, and just have no expectations either way.

Streetlight took the stage, and opened with “With Any Sort Of Certainty” off of their latest The Hands That Thieves and in typical Streetlight Manifesto fashion, kept stage banter to a complete minimum as they blasted out their ska ballads.  A pretty big pit opened up in the center, with plenty of people singing along and plenty of side pits opened for those of us who wanted to skank (including yours truly).

One thing that has always been true of Tomas Kalnoky and crew are that they put on an incredibly tight performance with little room for error.  They are all skilled musicians, and Tomas is one of the most skilled song writers around, and it shows through their live show.  Playing a nice mix of all three of their LPs, it was strange to see the juxtaposition of the reactions, with younger kids going nuts off their newer stuff while us older fans getting more excited for songs off Everything Goes Numb.  Definitely a fun set, I’m still store a few days later.

With Any Sort Of Certainty
The Three Of Us
Down, Down, Down To Mephisto’s Cafe
What A Wicked Gang Are We
Forty Days
We Will Fall Together
We Are The Few
A Better Place, A Better Time
Toe To Toe
The Hands That Thieve
If And When We Rise Again
Watch It Crash
A Moment Of Silence
A Moment Of Violence
Big Sleep

Here’s To Life
Somewhere In The Between

Streetlight Manifesto – Somewhere in the Between

But They Gave It To Me So I Might As Well Be Proud Of It:
Scenester 101: How to Be a 3rd Wave Ska Dork
Hub City Stompers – Life After Death
Darkbuster – 22 Songs You’ll Never Want To Hear Again
Mustard Plug – Can’t Contain It

Good Riddance, Off With Their Heads Live In Philadelphia (9/24/15)

good riddance off with their heads flier

I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make it down to Philly’s First Unitarian Church basement with all the shutdowns that were happening in the city for the pope.  With most of Center City having incredibly strict parking in affect, and much of our mass transit shut down (even 2 days before the pope arrived because Philly went completely nuclear over it) I decided to take the chance and head down because I sure as hell wasn’t about to miss Good Riddance and Off With Their Heads.

I got to the basement, and it was pretty under-attended for a church show, and it was clear that many others were scared off by Philly’s insane shutdowns.  No matter.  I missed Iron Chic but got there in time for Off With Their Heads.

Off With Their Heads:


I’ve been a fan of these Minneapolis punks for some time now ever since they released “From The Bottom”, and there was a time period where they used to come around and I’d see them 3-4 times a year, I haven’t caught them in almost 2 years.

It was clear once Off With Their Heads started, the majority of fans were there for them.  Opening with “Focus On Your Own Family”, Off With Their Heads played a tight set of their gritty sing-along punk consisting mostly of songs off their latest album (ok it’s 2 years old now) HomeWith plenty of people singing along, the band ripped through their set, and after forgetting how one song goes, decided they’d take the request “Die Today” which got the biggest reaction of the night.

A solid set, and while I wish they did a few more older songs as well, it’s always good to see these guys live.  I just wish they came around more often these days.

Setlist (From what I remember):
Focus On Your Own Family
Altar Boy
Don’t Make Me Go
Come Find Me
Spare Time
Seek Advice Elsewhere (I think they did this one)
Die Today
Start Walking
Clear The Air

Good Riddance:

good riddance

A lot of people split by the time Santa Cruz’s Good Riddance took the stage (their loss), leaving the church with plenty of room.  Good Riddance has been at it since 1986 before taking a 5 year hiatus in 2007 and then coming back and recording Peace In Our Time this year.

The band took the stage and opened into Ballads Of The Revolution’s “Without Anger” and didn’t really let up for the entirety of the night, leaving little time for stage banter as they cranked out songs from most of their expansive discography.  With only a few of us dancing throughout the set and singing along, it was a bit different from when I saw them last time they came around Philly but that didn’t deter Russ (who was supporting a Madonna shirt who also happened to be playing Philly) and crew as they cranked out their melodic hardcore.

Good Riddance to this day is one of the tightest live bands around, and put on an energetic performance even to a smaller crowd in a big venue (thanks pope…).  Go see Good Riddance live, they kill it.

Without Anger
Last Believer
Think Of Me
Weight Of The World
Dry Season
A Credit To His Gender
Yesterday’s Headlines
Half Measures
Shit Talking Capitalists
Running On Fumes
Fertile Fields
One For The Braves
Mother Superior
Take It To Heart
Letters Home
Shadows Of Defeat
United Cigar
Heresy, Hypocrisy, And Revenge

Good Riddance – Libertine
Off With Their Heads – Drive

Good Riddance – Peace In Our Time
Off With Their Heads – Home
Off With Their Heads – Hospitals

Teenage Bottlerocket, Pears, Live In Philly (9/18/15)

This past Friday, I headed out to South Philly’s Boot and Saddle to catch one of my favorite pop-punk bands around Teenage Bottlerocket.  I got to the venue, and the small space was decently packed for a 21+ show.


I’ve heard a lot of good things about New Orleans Pears, and with a bunch of friends telling me that I needed to check them out.  I’ve since grabbed their LP and their latest 7-inch on Fat Wreck, but I wound up missing up half their set due to me being an idiot and getting the start time of the show wrong.  Still, the half I did see definitely left an impression on me, and they put on a very explosive live show with their energetic and squirrel-on-meth antics running/rolling around the stage.

Pears played their incredibly fluid blend of hardcore and pop-punk (pop-punk more similar to Off With Their Heads or Dillinger Four than anything on the radio), and threw in their cover of The Ramones “Judy Is A Punk” before closing out with “Grimespree”.

Teenage Bottlerocket:


Taking the stage to the not often heard at punk shows “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, we knew exactly what we were in for: a fun, lighthearted punk show.  These Wyoming punks are currently touring in support of their latest album Tales From Wyoming, and immediately broke out into “Skate Or Die”.

With plenty of us singing along and a small pit breaking out (which is a bit of a rarity at Boot And Saddle since it’s a 21+ show), Teenage Bottlerocket played a bunch off most of their releases.  It was also comedy hour as well with them, as they shot down drunk people demanding them to wish a Happy Birthday, taking shots at the eagles when the singer failed to throw a drumstick under his leg to the drummer (“you eagles fans are used to this, that’s what we call an incomplete pass”), and forcing the crowd to boo him.

Always a fun time, the only real bummer is they ran out of time and skipped “Radio” because they did a cover of Danzig’s “Mother” with the crowd on vocals (which was pretty rad admittedly).  If you dig The Ramones, The Queers, or bands in that vein, Teenage Bottlerocket is a must.  They’ve been one of my favorites for years now.

Skate Or Die
Nothing Else Matters
Bigger Than Kiss
Don’t Wanna Go
Stupid Games
Bloodbath at Burger King
Mutilate Me
I Found The One
Fatso Goes Nutzoid
Blitzkreig Bop (Ramones Cover)
I Wanna Die
Dead Saturday
They Call Me Steve
On My Own
Freak Out
Nut House
Can’t Quit You
In The Basement
Too Much La Collina
Mother (Danzig cover)
Tony Sly cover
So Far Away

Teenage Bottlerocket – Fatso Goes Nutzoid
PEARS – You’re Boring

Teenage Bottlerocket – Freak Out!
Teenage Bottletrocket – They Came From The Shadows
Teenage Bottlerocket – Another Way

Fat Wreck Tour: NOFX, Lagwagon, Strung Out, Swingin Utters Live In Philly (8/15/15)


Fat Wreck Chords have been around a LONG time.  A staple in punk rock, Fat Mike of NOFX’s record label were a huge influnece on defining the skate punk sound throughout the 90s and early 2000s.  To this day, they still crank out some solid releases and even though they pretty much pioneered the one album deal with bands, they have many alumni on their roster who have exclusively released albums through the label.

To celebrate their 25th year, NOFX gathered a group of friends, and pretty much threw an all day Fat Wreck Festival in a few select cities.  With Philadelphia being one of them, I had to go.

Now, I’m pretty skeptical of all day fests, especially at venues such as Festival Pier (the outdoor space by the Delaware River next to the Ben Franklin bridge).  While providing a scenic backdrop is nice and all, fests are usually incredibly overpriced (which it was), but they did allow us to bring in a bottle and had free water refills, so no complaints here.

i got there a bit earlier than my girlfriend and friends, making it in time for Swingin Utters.

Swingin Utters:swingin utters

By the time the Swingin Utters went on, the crowd was already becoming a shitshow (as one would expect at an all day Fat Wreck fest).  Beers flying, people falling over, it was exactly as i expected the second Swingin Utters opened up.  While it seemed like there were only a few of us who were really stoked to see them, those of us who love the San Francisco punks were shouting along and dancing throughout their set.

The band played plenty off most of their expansive discography, with latest Fistful Of Hollow and fan favorite Five Lessons Learned containing the bulk of the set.  Easily one of the most underrated bands on Fat Wreck (and in punk), these guys have been at it since 1987, and are one of the best in Social Distortion-esque sing along punk rock.  Go see them.

Untitled 21
Pills And Smoke
Kick It Over
The Librarians Are Hiding Something
Tell Them Told You So
Stupid Lullabies
Windspitting Punk
Tell Me Lies
Taking The Long Way
Fistful Of Hollow
No Eager Men
Fifteenth and T
Five Lessons Learned
Tonight’s Moon
The Next In Line

Strung Out:


Strung Out is one of those bands that completely rip, but for some reason I never really listened to much or have ever seen live.  Playing aggressive melodic skate punk with traces of metal infused, Strung Out may have played what was musically the tightest set of the night.  After catching them, I need to go back through my collection and give these guys another listen.



Lagwagon was one of the earliest punk bands I’ve ever gotten into, and I will always remember them as one of the first punk albums that I ever bought with the release of Let’s Talk About Feelings.  After listening to them for so many years, I finally had the chance to catch them last December on their tour with Swingin Utters, and they completely slayed live.

Lagwagon took the stage, and immediately announced that they were going to play their 1994 album, and possibly one of their most successful albums Trashed in it’s entirety.  The band was on point, and their set seemed to fly by as they zipped through Trashed, only to finish with a No Use For A Name cover and of course their biggest song thanks to Tony Hawk Pro Skater: May 16th.

Island Of Shame
Know It All
Stokin The Neighbors
Give It Back
Goin South
Coffee And Cigarettes
Brown Eyed Girl
Whipping Boy
No One
Bye For Now
Exits (NUFAN cover)
May 16th



If you’ve ever been even remotely interested in punk at some point of your life, you know about NOFX.  I’ve heard they suck live… well they’ve actually gotten worse.  All live album name jokes aside, I’ve caught NOFX a few times in my life and nearly 30 years later they are one of the most consistent and fun live bands around.

Fat Mike took the stage wearing a dress and exclaimed “No I’m not doing a Laura Jane Grace thing or whatever, I just felt like wearing a fucking dress ok?”  Before even playing any song, Melvin noticed that there was a baby on a dad’s shoulders in the front row.  With a few “who the fuck brings a baby to a NOFX show?” the band told the dad to come on stage with the baby because they didn’t want the baby getting hurt.  But seriously, it’s like the guy’s never been to a punk show in his life, are you fucking kidding me?

It was comedy hour with NOFX on stage as they ripped through their set.  Whether it was “this is probably the best song we’ve ever written” before launching into a cover of Rancid’s “Radio”, or calling out shirtless ripped dudes in the crowd, these guys seem to love what they do still after all these years.

The one thing they wanted to do was play The Longest Line EP in it’s 4 song entirety, but even that got interrupted as a fan requested “Lori Meyers” and the singer of Bad Cop/Bad Cop came out to offer vocals for it.  NOFX played it before annoyed asking “Can we get back to what we were doing now?!” before continuing the rest of the EP.

While they ignored everyone’s shouts of “PLAY THE DECLINE!” (“are you guys chanting let’s go Seahawks?”), they closed with a little broadway number and dance to “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist”.  A fun time, NOFX is still one of the best live bands around.

Seeing Double At The Triple Rock
Murder The Government
It’s My Job To Keep Punk Rock Elite
Leave It Alone
Quart In Session
Radio (Rancid cover)
Fuck The Kids
The Death Of John Smith
Lori Meyers
The Longest Line
72 Hookers
I Believe In Goddess
The Moron Brothers
Leaving Jesusland
Creeping Out Sara
The Separation Between Church and Skate
Soul Doubt
Remnants (I think)
Kill All The White Man
(Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist)

NOFX – The Moron Brothers
Lagwagon – One Thing To Live
Swingin’ Utters – Sign it Away

NOFX – Self Entitled
NOFX – Coaster
NOFX – War On Errorism
NOFX – So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes
NOFX – Punk In Drublic

Official Site:
Fat Wreck

Limp Wrist Live in Philly (8/9/15)

Limp Wrist

The other Sunday evening, I headed down to one of my favorite venues in Philly, The First Unitarian Church to catch a rare show from queercore legends Limp Wrist.  While not sold out, the church basement was pretty full of punks from all colors of the spectrum: straight, gay, trans, lesbian, etc.  Shorts were definitely shorter (as is Limp Wrist’s trademark) and there was plenty of pink.

I was pretty excited for this show, not just because I fucking love these guys, but also due to the recent victory in the Supreme Court making marriage legal nationwide for all people, regardless of sex.  I got to the incredibly hot basement right as Limp Wrist was setting up, and once Limp Wrist took the stage they got the party started with “Just Like You” off their Want Us Dead EP. 

Breaking out into pits and stage dives, we raged throughout their set of classics, but also some new songs coming off a new album that should be coming out some time next year.

The band kept stage banter to a minimum, and shit got weird as one dude got naked in the pit (which, by the way turns out will kill a pit with lightning fast speed).  Martin kept things rowdy by jumping into the crowd and onto the floor as he did “Limp Wrist” and was bombarded with pile ons and sing-alongs.

Limp Wrist is one of rowdiest and fun hardcore bands around, and I’m stoked to hear some the new album. If you’re lucky enough to have them play a rare show near you, fucking do yourself a favor and go.

Just Like You
Back In The Day
Bought Out
Fake Fags
Smear The Fear
What’s Up With The Kids
To The Grave
Man To Man
Fucks With My Head
All Gone Grey
Want Us Dead
Dead Weight
Limp Wrist
I Love Hardcore Boys

Limp Wrist – Smear The Fear

Limp Wrist – Self Titled LP
Ceremony – Violence Violence

American Nightmare, The Suicide File Live In Philly (7/24/15)

I headed out to Philly’s Electric Factory in order to catch American Nightmare and The Suicide File play night one of This Is Hardcore. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I was arriving really late in time for The Suicide File, but the all day fest had been going on for hours earlier.  The place was decently packed although plenty of room to move around.

The Suicide File


I’ve never had a chance to see The Suicide File before, so I was pretty stoked to catch Boston’s rock and roll infused hardcore band.  Before their set, someone took the stage and stated that the band asked him to talk about one of the biggest problems plaguing the country these days, rumors of Tom Brady cheating.

With that, the band took the stage and blasted into The Purple Dawn while a pit, stage dives, and a can of party string was immediately let loose.  Suicide File put on a killer reunion set, and seemed in pretty high spirits, often taking light hearted jabs at each other, the crowd and Philadelphia in general (“If I knew 15 years ago that we’d be playing in front of a crowd this big in Philadelphia?  I’d say couldn’t we play a better city?”)

Playing a bunch off both Twilight and their compilation Some Mistakes You Never Stop Paying For, they played two of my favorites (“Atchung Landmine!” and “Now Lie In It”) but the biggest reaction was definitely closer “Song For Tonight” which had one of the biggest pile-ons I’ve seen at recent shows.  Holy shit.

Setlist (not in order, might not be complete)
The Purple Dawn
Things Fall Apart
Atchung! Landmine!
I Hate You
Song For Katy
Now Lie In It

American Nightmare:American Nightmare

I’m a huge American Nightmare fan, and they have been my favorite hardcore band ever since I’ve seen them back in 2003 when they were touring under the name Give Up The Ghost (due to another American Nightmare threatening legal action).  Since they’ve broken up, I’ve seen them a number of times, flying up to Boston to see their first reunion show which was mind blowing, and heading up to NYC to catch them a few times as well.

After a while setting up, Wes and crew took the stage and broke out into “There’s A Black Hole In The Shadow Of The Pru”.  Two stepping and stage diving abound, the band played a set heavily from Background Music and their earlier EPs, playing for a solid half hour with very minimal banter.

In true hardcore form, Wes left most of the shouting up to the crowd as he jumped around the stage and stage divers accidentally ripped out cords.  It seemed like their set was plagued with some sound issues, but Wes seems to have a hard time hitting the screams this show.  Still, it’s American Nightmare and I definitely lost my shit and was in the pit the majority of theire set.  I really want to see them in a smaller venue again (I missed their NYC show at Saint Vitus, but footage looks like some of the most solid yet).
There’s A Black Hole In The Shadow Of The Pru
I’ve Shared Your And Lips Now They Sicken Me
Love American
(We Are)
Shoplifting In A Ghost Town
I Saved Latin
Postmark My Compass
Crime Scene
Fuck What Fireworks Stand For
Calculation Nation
Protest Song #00
Please Die!
Your Arsonist

American Nightmare – The Ice Age Is Coming!
The Suicide File – Now Lie In It

American Nightmare – Year One
American Nightmare – Background Music
Scenester 101: How To Be An Old School Hardcore Kid In 10 Easy Steps!

Bouncing Souls, Andrew Jackson Jihad Live In New Jersey (7/17/15)

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:

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.

Linda Ronstant
Big Bird
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:
That Song
Private Radio
True Believers
Better Life
The Something Special
Broken Record
Break-Up Song
Streetlight Serenade (To No One)
Late Bloomer
No Comply

Do You Wanna Dance (Ramones/Bobby Freeman cover)
Sing Along Forever
Say Anything
New Song
Hopeless Romantic
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)
New Song
The Freaks The Nerds And The Romantics
Here We Go
Night On Earth

Andrew Jackson Jihad – ‘Nother Beer
Bouncing Souls-Joe Lies (When He Cries)

Bouncing Souls “Worst” Album
Bouncing Souls – The Good The Bad And The Argyle
Bouncing Souls Split Series
Bouncing Souls – Comet