The Bouncing Souls are an American punk band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, formed in 1989. By the time of their acknowledgment by the national punk rock scene, they had reignited a “pogo” element to New Jersey punk rock by playing fast light-hearted songs, a model followed by various other local bands.
Danzig is an American heavy metal band led by former Samhain and Misfits singer Glenn Danzig. Formed in 1987 in Lodi, New Jersey, the group early on became a unique voice in the rock scene, playing a bluesy, doom-laden metal with Glenn Danzig crooning in the style of Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley. Danzig’s openly satanic lyrics and image stirred controversy. After a major hit with a live version of its 1988 song “Mother”, the band experimented with industrial music but later returned to heavy metal.
This review is better late than never… don’t blame me, blame Dying Scene for being on “vacation”… Anyway, with MC5 playing down the street, and The Chats, Mean Jeans, and Thick playing a few towns over, I didn’t know what to expect as far as a turnout on this rainy Friday in Pittsburgh. To make things […]
This review is better late than never… don’t blame me, blame Dying Scene for being on “vacation”… Anyway, with MC5 playing down the street, and The Chats, Mean Jeans, and Thick playing a few towns over, I didn’t know what to expect as far as a turnout on this rainy Friday in Pittsburgh. To make things more uncertain, it was my first time at this venue, which didn’t exist before I started a decade of living in NYC and New Jersey. One thing was clear that night: people show up for The Jasons. It helped that the bill was also pretty stacked with pop punk vets, Latecomer, Jerk! (on tour from Las Vegas) and Bottle Rat, whose members have been doing the punk thing for what feels like decades.
Cattivo, in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh wasn’t at all what I expected. I expected a small – medium sized bar venue that might have a stage, or might not. I was way wrong. This is a dual-level venue that had The Jasons show being held downstairs. The room and stage were a decent size and there was a cash bar serving drinks. The room offered plenty of standing room, a lot of space for band merch, and the bathroom was acceptable. Venues like this aren’t uncommon, but it had been a while since I’ve been to one like this. Aside from the shiny curtain in the back of the stage creating the backdrop, there isn’t really anything memorable about this place. You could say the focus is on the bands, which is always a good thing.
The first band up was Bottle Rat. If you’ve been in the Pittsburgh punk scene in the last twenty years you’ve definitely seen these dudes in one band or another. There’s something about Bottle Rat that takes me back ten years or so to what I remember loving about the Pittsburgh punk sound. The best way to describe that Pittsburgh sound and Bottle Rat is an energetic, growly, anthemic, blue collar street punk style. Every song is a toe tapper, some songs are even hand clappers, and there’s just something about these guys that leaves you wanting more. This performance was no exception. You can bet I’ll be seeing these guys a lot in the future and I’ve given their album, All My Friends Are Animals a few spins since the show.
Next was Jerk!, on tour from Las Vegas, NV. I’ve been following this band since I first heard about them through Mom’s Basement Records and was immediately intrigued. Jerk! plays a sort of pop punk / ramonescore hybrid with a drummer that reminds me of Bill Stevenson both in looks and style of playing. Their set was a lot of fun and featured a ton of upbeat and poppy songs. The only album I’ve ever heard from them is “Panic Attack” and they made sure to hit a ton of songs on that album. They also performed their version of the Screeching Weasel song, “Guest List” which is always a crowd pleaser. There’s no telling when Jerk! will be back in the ‘Burgh again, but when they are I’ll be there!
The last opener of the night was Latecomer. I’ve known Zach and Pete since they were in their first band, Shuttlecocks, over a decade ago and I’ve had the pleasure of playing shows with this latest band. These guys have been killing it for years and every time they take the stage, it gets more and more polished. They dish out a brand of catchy as hell sing-along songs that never disappoint and remind me of bands like the Jetty Boys, Dopamines, older Menzingers, and an edgier Green Day. They have a few releases at this point and made sure to play songs from all of them during their set. The crowd started to really fill in around this time and everyone knew their songs and provided plenty of crowd participation. Always a great sign for a band. It was really nice to hear some of my favorite songs like “All My Friends” and “Refrigerator” live again. Latecomer has always been very active, so if you’re in the Pittsburgh area and they’re playing, be sure to check them out!
The headliner for the night were The Jasons from Crystal Lake, NJ! Boy do these dudes have a following. What’s great about them is while they play a ramonescore style pop punk, you’ll see people from all different subgenres of punk coming out to support them! I’ve seen them a few times at this point and the show keeps getting better. Mainly because The Jasons have everything… a uniformed look, between song banter, great stage presence, and a great stage show… oh yeah, the songs are also catchy too. As soon as the first note rang out, the pit opened up, fists went into the air, and the excitement started. The Jasons went on to rip through classics like, “Blood in the Streets”, “Get Fucked”, “I Wanna Be An Asshole”, “Dead Fuck”, and “J.J. Was a Headbanger”. Overall, the set was flawless, right down to the smoke machines being in sync with the music, and after a quick (and forced) encore, the set was over and so was the show.
It had been a minute since I’ve attended a show where I truly dug all the bands on the lineup. It was also nice to see a ton of familiar Pittsburgh faces and I look forward to more of these types of shows to come. Thanks to all the bands, Cattivo, and the promoter Some Die Nameless!
The hardest working man in punk rock, Frank Turner has been no stranger to the pages of Dying Scene for more than a dozen years now. We last touched base a couple of months ago to chat about his latest album, FTHC – it was Episode 53 of our (*both laugh*): The Dying Scene Quarantine […]
The hardest working man in punk rock, Frank Turner has been no stranger to the pages of Dying Scene for more than a dozen years now. We last touched base a couple of months ago to chat about his latest album, FTHC – it was Episode 53 of our (*both laugh*): The Dying Scene Quarantine Chat Show podcast, in case you were curious. When the tape stopped rolling, Turner let yours truly in on a little secret; he was planning on announcing a Summer US Tour that would find him covering all 50 States in the span of just 50 days. Like most people he told the idea to, I agreed that it sounded absolutely nuts, Covid-19 pandemic or no.
But here we are! The tour kicked off in the great state of New Hampshire on June 13th. Our pal Ray was at show #11 at Crossroads in Garwood, New Jersey. It was a solo acoustic show that came immediately after show #10, which took place in Brooklyn earlier the same day. See what we mean about hardest working man in punk rock? Crossroads is one of my all-time favorite places to see a show (well worth the five-hour drive from the Boston suburbs), and it’s shows like this that demonstrate why. Check out more of Ray’s work on Instagram.
Anyway, this show featured an opening set by none other than Kayleigh Goldsworthy, the immeasurably talented multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter who most recently hails from Philadelphia and just put out a solo record of her own, Learning To Be Happy, back in May.
Check out Ray’s dynamite photos below, and stay tuned for more coverage from the ’50 States In 50 Days’ tour coming soon!