This past Friday, I headed to beach town Asbury Park to catch my favorite band and NJ punk legends The Bouncing Souls. Souls shows in Asbury are always my favorite and make me nostalgic… the first time I ever saw them was back in 2003 in Asbury Park. I’ve gone pretty much every year to their Home For The Holidays show since it’s inception, but with them announcing this last one would be their final, maybe this new “Stoked For The Summer” will be a new tradition.
Playing the outdoor stage at The Stone Pony, the show was also a record release show for their new Simplicity album that came out (I need to post a review up soon, but I’m digging it so far). I was hoping to get there in time for The Explosion, but unfortunately missed them. I got there right in time for Rocket From The Crypt.
Rocket From The Crypt:
I never heard of San Diego’s Rocket From The Crypt before, but it was easy to mistake them for a ska band when they took the stage with the matching outfits and the horns. They instead played punk influenced rock and roll, with plenty of fun songs that had a few in the crowd singing along and dancing.
It seemed like most people definitely seemed to be enjoying them, and it made me curious to go through their discography and check out some of their recorded work. With a bit of of a Murder City Devils / Supersuckers vibe to them and put on an enjoyable set.
The Bouncing Souls:
The crowd was getting antsy for the Souls to start, with a the obligatory chants of “OLE” and “HERE WE GO” before they took the stage. I wasn’t really sure if their setlist was going to be comprised of their new songs off Simplicity (which I’ve been listening to nonstop since they posted the stream online), but taking the stage and immediately opening with “Here We Go”, the NJ veterans kicked things off in a frenzy with us in the crowd opening a pit that didn’t really let up for the entirety of the night.
The Bouncing Souls ripped through a few of their classics, with songs like “Quick Check Girl”, “Cracked”, and “Kid”, but played a few of the newer songs live as well. I really liked hearing the new ones live, and they definitely are more reminiscent of the band’s How I Spent My Summer Vacation/Anchors Aweigh days than the mellow sound we’ve been getting from them lately.
The band themselves appeared to be in high spirits, with singer Greg getting the crowd to welcome his parents who were at the show and who genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself throughout the set. Maybe it was the energy of just releasing a new album, but they definitely did seem stoked to be playing. The show had a pretty laid back feel, with the Souls joking about “who needs to practice” after messing up a verse (not that anyone in the crowd really cared) and taking a break in the middle of the set to have the crowd turn to the back and sing happy birthday to their friend and manager Kate.
A fun show as usual, I was worried after the announcement of Home For The Holidays wouldn’t be a thing anymore that the band wouldn’t find much time to play in NJ anymore regularly with the members all living in different state, but I’m really hoping Stoked For The Summer becomes a new tradition. I’ve seen the Souls well over 30-40 times now, and they still manage to make everything better.
Setlist (From what I remember, not in order)
Here We Go
Sing Along Forever
Driving All Night
Kate Is Great
Punks In Vegas
Gravity (I think)
Quick Check Girl
Lean On Sheena
Writing On The Wall (I think)
The Something Special
The Freaks The Nerds And The Romantics
Moon Over Asbury
Ghosts On The Boardwalk (acoustic)
The Gold Song
Joe Lies (When He Cries)
Writing On The Wall (I think)
East Coast Fuck You
Night On Earth