Last night, The Bouncing Souls announced that they would be playing a secret last minute show at Asbury Lanes (the punk rock bowling alley) in Asbury Park NJ, as sort of a rehearsal for their set at Tsunami Fest with new drummer George Rebelo of Hot Water Music. There weren’t any advanced tickets, and they were the only ones on the bill. Easily one of my favorite bands since I was just a wee NJ punk, there was no way that I was not going to try and at least attempt to get into this show, so I battled traffic from Philly and headed straight there after work to see my favorite Hopeless Romantics. Even though the line was wrapping around the block, I got in.
A Bouncing Souls show in NJ is guaranteed to sell out quick, especially at a small intimate place like Asbury Lanes. The venue itself changed a bit since the last time I was there 3 years ago for Youth Brigade, and there was actually much more room to dance and move around (on the bowling floor…). If you’re having a hard time picturing this… imagine a bowling alley, with a stage in front of a few of the lanes and a bar in the back. The place filled up quickly, and the band finally took the stage and played one of the more intimate sets I’ve seen them do in over 13 years.
The Souls immediately launched into “Sing Along Forever” with stage dives and pits going through out the entire set. Greg seemed much more animated than usual, giving the mic to the crowd at points, dodging stage divers, joking around a lot more and treating it more like a band practice than a proper show. It seemed like the band was having some sound level problems, with mics cutting out but that didn’t seem to deter them one bit… Restarts and mess-ups aside, it seemed like The Bouncing Souls were actually having a quite a bit of fun on stage as opposed to just running through the motions.
After playing through a what seemed all too short set (but it’s also the Souls, anything short of their entire discography will seem too short to me), the pits left me a bruised, battered, voiceless, sweaty fucking disaster (but I didn’t break my arm this time, so that’s a plus.) Definitely worth the drive, The Bouncing Souls music always seems to be there when I’m feeling the lowest, and just like when I was that young, snotty, punk teen… always picks me right back up time and time again. Now if only they played my ultimate perseverance song Kid or The Freaks, Nerds, And The Romantics.
Sing Along Forever
Kids And Heroes
Punks In Vegas
The Something Special
Lean On Sheena (Avoid One Thing cover)
Joe Lies, When He Cries
I Like Your Mom
Kate Is Great
Wayfarer (Hot Water Music cover)
Here We Go
Night On Earth