Search Results for "Bouncing Souls"

Bouncing Souls announce “Crucial Moments” EP and book, unveil 30th anniversary tour dates

Gigantic news from straight outta the Garden State this afternoon. 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the Bouncing Souls!

The pioneering Jersey punk rockers celebrate their 30th anniversary this year, and have a smorgasbord of pretty awesome events planned to help mark the occasion.

Perhaps most important is the announcement of the release of Crucial Moments, a brand-new 6-song EP that’s due out March 15th on Rise Records. In what’s a bit of a departure from the band’s normal modus operandi, the new material was recorded with Will Yip who’s previously worked with everyone from Lauren Hill to The Fray to Tigers Jaw and all points in between. Also available will be a companion book entitled Crucial Moments: Thirty Years Of Life With The Bouncing Souls, slated to be chock full of stories, journals and pictures from the band’s storied career. Check out the retrospective video for the title track from Crucial Moments below, and snag yourself a pre-order from the myriad available options right here!

Last but certainly not least, the band are heading out on a pretty lengthy tour to mark their anniversary, and they’re bringing a bunch of friends like the Bronx and Off With Their Heads and Skinny Lister and The Casualties and Bar Stool Preachers along for the ride. Check out the full rundown below (after the video).



DS Exclusive: The Live Music Year In Pictures (Jay Stone)

Another year in the books, and while I scaled down the amount of shows I shot this year for a variety of reasons, it was still pretty awesome and eventful. The year started with a trip to Jersey to catch Jared Hart and a barn-burner of a Ben Nichols solo performance at the inimitable Crossroads venue booked by the equally inimitable Andy Diamond. There was also a trip to Connecticut to see Lucero and Jake LaBotz, a trip to Memphis for Lucero’s Family Block Party-slash-20th birthday celebration, another trip to Connecticut for the last installment of the Warped Tour (so, mostly, to see The Interrupters) and another trip back to Jersey for the Bouncing Souls‘ annual Stoked For The Summer throwdown that featured sets from Against Me!, Tim Barry, Titus Andronicus and Smoking Popes. Then there was a whirlwind Brooklyn trip to see Brian Fallon and Craig Finn. Oh, and there was another trip to Connecticut for a rager of a Bouncing Souls/Swingin Utters show. And a trip to New Hampshire for another Utters show. And a Frank Turner show in New Hampshire with Bad Cop/Bad Cop too.

Michael Kane

 

Oh The Humanity

Johnny Rioux (Street Dogs)

Rebuilder

But don’t think that means there was a lack of spectacular shows here on the homefront. There were stellar nights with Bundles and Birdwatching and Michael Kane & The Morning Afters and Art Thieves and Street Dogs and of course Rebuilder and of course Rebuilder again and Dan Webb and the Spiders a few times and Mint Green and Depressors and Oh The Humanity and KCUF and Weathered Friends.

Jared Hart and his better half, Casey

Ben Nichols

Trever and Dennis of Face To Face

Kayleigh Goldsworthy (Dave Hause)

National acts of all shapes and sizes came through the Boston area as well. Of course there was Lucero. And the same Brian Fallon/Craig Finn tour. And The Penske File. And The Lawrence Arms with Sincere Engineer and Red City Radio. And Fallon again. And Face To Face with Austin Lucas. And Dave Hause a couple times in a couple different formats. And another Frank Turner show. And Iron Chic. And Dead Bars. And Noi!se. And of course there was Pearl Jam at Fenway.

CJ Ramone

Bouncing Souls

Dave Hause crowd surfing during Frank Turner

Sincere Engineer

If you check this site out a lot, you’ll know I take a ton of pictures at most shows, and I try to present some of my favorite ones on a regular basis. Below, however, is a few dozen of my favorite pictures of the year. Some of them came out great, some of them came out less great but tell a cool story or evoke a great and personal memory. That’s ultimately, I guess, what I try to do when I’m shooting shows. Thanks for reading, and for looking, and for supporting the people and the venues that keep this thing chugging down the road.

Click on the individual pictures to see blow them up. Bring on 2019. -JMS-

 



DS Photo Gallery: Bouncing Souls and Swingin Utters from Webster Underground, Hartford, CT

If you’re like me and “of a certain age” and grew up embedded in the Epitaph/Fat Wreck Chords sound of the early 1990’s, you’ve no doubt got a special place in your heart for the Bouncing Souls and the Swingin’ Utters. And though both bands have been rather steadily plying their respective wears for thirty-ish years, unless you caught them opening for Descendents together back in 1996 or maybe at a handful of festival one-offs, you probably never got the chance to see them together. And so it was with great anticipation that the Souls announced that the Utters would be the sole opener on a quick three-day run of dates in the greater NYC area. The second of those three shows was at the tiny Webster Underground in Hartford last Saturday, and yours truly was one of the lucky ones crammed into the dimly lit glorified hallway of a black-painted-plywood walled venue for the festivities.

The Utters took the stage first promptly at 8:30pm. This three-show run opening for the Souls served as a break roughly at the halfway point of the legendary Santa Cruz band’s own eastern US headlining tour, and because there were only two bands on the bill — shoutout to two-band show bills, by the way — the Utters were afforded a longer-than-average slot. This resulted in a stellar eighteen-song (by my count) set that spanned the bulk of the band’s three-decade career. I had seen the Utters headline in New Hampshire earlier in the week and left just about as thoroughly impressed by the quartet (longtime partners Johnny Bonnel and Darius Koski joined by newest bassist Tony Teixeira and fill-in drummer Max Katz) as I had been at any time I’d seen them in the past. This show raised the bar to even loftier heights, with a varied setlist that found traditional favorites like “Windspitting Punk” and “The Librarians Are Hiding Something” joined by some of the more recent odd-tempo Bonnel-penned tracks like personal highlight “Dubstep.” Every handful of years, it seems like the Utters go through a particularly productive writing and touring phase, and based on their recent album, Peace And Love, and the two shows I caught last week, here’s hoping we’re in one of those cycles.

By the time the Souls hit the stage, the sold-out crowd had packed sardine style into the venue, and remained a frenetic ball of energy from the opening notes of “Hopeless Romantic” to the closing notes of “Night On Earth” more than an hour later. The Hartford area has been starved for good punk shows for a while – the Webster tends to draw a more metal-influenced crowd – and even though the average age was…well…clearly Souls fans from back in the day, that didn’t stop the constant whirling dervish and barrage of crowd surfers from matching the band’s energy. If you closed or eyes or at least just squinted, you’d have sworn it was 1998 all over again. “Monday Morning Ant Brigade” and “These Are The Quotes From Our Favorite ’80s Movies” and “I Like Your Mom” were fun additions to a set, and are proof that the band still maintain their goofy sense of humor amidst a set that is also chock full of anthemic rallying cries. Oh, and speaking of the band’s energy; it is not hyperbole or said with any malice to previous drummers to state that the addition of George Rebelo behind the kit equates to the most steady, rock solid lineup of the band’s three-decade career. There was obviously early scuttlebutt that they might throw in the towel when Michael McDermott left back in 2013 after a 14 year run, and boy would that have been a mistake.

Head below for our photo rundown from a night that was truly one for the books.



DS Exclusive: Riot Fest Recap – Day Three (Alkaline Trio, Bad Religion, Bouncing Souls and more)

Day 3 started off rocky. FEAR went on stage play the debut album “FEAR: The Record”in its entirety. Actually, they started the set with “Fuck You, Let’s Rodeo”and “Honor and Obey”from their 1995 album “Have Another Beer with FEAR.” FEAR fans will tell you that the band is, well, not exactly PC, so it was interesting how the crowd will react to the album. Well, no need to worry because singer Lee Ving changed some of the words in certain songs to be a bit more friendly. But self-censorship was only one of the problems with the set, as it seemed the band didn’t do that much practicing, with the guitarist struggling during “Sanatorium”and Ving missed his cue on, well, quite a few songs, actually. A weird thing considering he’s been singing these songs for over thirty years.

 

By comparison Suicidal Tendencies were the complete opposite. The California thrash punk legends blazed through most of their self-title debut album (they didn’t play “I Want More”) completely annihilating the captive crowd with Mike running back and forth on stage, pumping his fists like a fucking lunatic off his meds. Naturally, with this much going on, one of the larger pits I’ve seen that day formed. Songs from “Fascist Pig” to “I Shot Reagan”were played with such ferocity that you forget singer Mike Muir is in his 50’s. The set ended with Mike bringing kids and adults on stage as he performed the classic “Institutionalized.”

The three-day Riot Fest experience was…good. Not great, but it didn’t suck either. There were some definite peaks and valleys in regards to the performances. Overall, I did enjoy it. Hopefully, they work out the kinks next year.

In the interim, please check out some images from a few of the other Day 3 acts, including Bad Religion, Beach Rats, Bouncing Souls and Alkaline Trio! For more coverage from the festival, check out our stories from Day One and Day Two. As with the last two days, all words by Frederic Hall and all photos by Meredith Goldberg.



DS Photo Galley: Stoked For The Summer 2018 w/Bouncing Souls, Against Me!, Titus Andronicus, Smoking Popes and Tim Barry

For the third time in as many years, New Jersey punk rock stalwarts The Bouncing Souls threw their now-annual Stoked For The Summer blowout show last weekend on the outdoor, beachfront Summer Stage at the legendary Stone Pony in equally legendary Asbury Park. In spite of occurring in what’s theoretically an off-year for the band — their last full-length, Simplicity, was released in 2016 and the band are gearing up for their 30th anniversary next year — it also marked the largest Stoked For The Summer show to date, with well over 4000 people baking outdoors on the blacktop for the festivities.

Tim Barry kicked things off late in the afternoon in quintessential Tim Barry fashion. The Richmond, Virginia, native has long had ties to the Bouncing Souls/Chunksaah Records/Little Eden Studio family in Central Jersey, and as such was the perfect choice to get things rolling. Armed with only his trusty Martin acoustic (and an assist from longtime Souls merchandise manager/video production wizard Matthew Gere on harmonica), Barry blazed through an intense half-hour set that was heavy on songs with Garden State references (“Avoiding Catatonic Surrender,” “40 Miler,” the obvious choice “Little Eden”). Oh…and HE PLAYED AN AVAIL SONG WHICH IS NOT A THING THAT I EVER THOUGHT I’D SAY LET ALONE WITNESS IN PERSON okay, I’m better now.

The Smoking Popes were next out of the chute, fresh off a dozen-hour drive from their previous night’s show in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In spite of the road weariness, the band didn’t seem much worse for the wear, powering through a set that was heavy on crowd favorites like “Rubella” and “I Need You Around.” The Chicago quartet are still celebrating the 20th anniversary re-release of their iconic 1997 album Destination Failure, and have a brand new album mixed, mastered, and ready to go for release this coming fall. If what’s to come bears any resemblance to lead single “Someday I’ll Smile Again,” it’s bound to be an instant pop-punk classic.

Hailing from just up the GSP in Glen Rock, New Jersey, Titus Andronicus occupied the number three spot in the order. Though the Patrick Stickles-led quartet just released a new album, A Productive Cough, a few months back, the band’s half-hour set skipped that album in favor of the more “punk rock bangers” of the back catalog, especially 2015’s The Most Lamentable Tragedy. The band managed to cram a half-dozen songs into their half-hour set, which is not an easy task when you’re known for writing epic tracks about Civil War naval battles and whatnot. In a nod to probably the one artist that cemented Asbury Park’s place in the rock and roll pantheon, the set closed with a pretty stellar cover of Springsteen’s summer classic, “Glory Days.”

Batting clean-up were the inimitable Against Me!. It’s been barely a month since it was announced that former bass player Andrew Seward is now present bass player Andrew Seward once again, and this marked the biggest-scale show in the current lineup’s brief introductory run. I’ve never seen Against Me! – in any formation – be anything short of awe-inspiring, but this show seemed a notch or two above the norm, helped of course by the early evening sun actively setting directly behind the stage. The band’s set opened with scorching renditions “FuckMyLife666” and “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” both from their ground-breaking 2014 album of the same name, and never really let up steam at all for forty-five high energy minutes that featured a non-stop barrage of crowd surfers right from the beginning. This is only a brief run of shows for Against Me!, and Laura Jane Grace has got a solo album due out in the coming months, but the newly retooled AM! lineup being this solid – and seeming to genuinely be having this much fun – so soon is a welcome sign.

Last, but most certainly not least, were the legendary Bouncing Souls. As I intimated above, the Souls have only played a handful of shows this year, but they certainly made up for lost time on this particular night. With the stage – and the crowd – filled with friends and family, the Jersey legends ripped into fan favorites “Hopeless Romantic,” “East Coast, Fuck You” and “The Gold Song” in rapid succession to kick off a set that extended well into the Asbury Park night. The perfect symbiotic relationship between crowd and band can be a tough thing to keep up for an extended time, but was readily on display for the duration of the Souls’ Herculean thirty-song set (a direct nod to their upcoming thirtieth anniversary?) on this particular night. I’ve said this before on other platforms, but I genuinely thought that the Souls sounded the best I’d ever heard them sound when I last saw them in Boston last November. That show, solid as it was, is now a distant second to this one. There’s obviously been a twin-like bond between Bryan Kienlen and Pete Steinkopf at the sonic core of the Souls for three decades, which translates into the two performing in lockstep and making it seem effortless in the process, giving frontman Greg Attonito the freedom to roam – both vocally and physically on stage – like a mad punk rock scientist giving a high-powered TED Talk. And it’s actually quite amazing how seemingly easily – at least from the audience perspective – that the newest Soul, drummer George Rebelo, has acclimated himself to the role, especially given that his “other band,” Hot Water Music, are not only still a living, breathing entity but left for a handful of European shows a day or so after this epic night.

While we’re waiting for what 30th anniversary hi-jinks the Souls might have coming down the ‘pike next year, have a gander at our pictures from Stoked For The Summer 2018 below!



DS Exclusive: “I’ll Love You ‘Til The End” – The Loved Ones Look Back On Ten Years Since “Build + Burn”


When The Loved Ones released their debut full-length album, Keep Your Heart, in early 2006, it seemed at the time to be a welcome bit of fresh air in the punk scene. Here was a new band that, though its members were known entities in the punk rock scene, seemed to transcend any specific label; a bouncy, East Coast sound run through a West Coast, Fat Wreck Chords filter. The album was an opening salvo from a band that seemed destined for a lengthy and blindingly bright future. Inspired (for lack of a better word, because that honestly feels like the wrong word to use) by the death of frontman Dave Hause’s mother a few years prior, the baker’s dozen tracks on Keep Your Heart found the Philadelphia-based trio (Mike Sneeringer on drums, Michael “Spider” Cotterman on bass) nearly perfecting a high-octane, melodic punk rock sound that was all their own right out of the gate. The album was nearly universally well-received by critics, fans and fellow bands alike, and set a trajectory for the band that seemed, on paper, to trend infinitely upward.

On the surface, things seemed to be heading in a positive direction in the Loved Ones camp, but there was tension in the ranks. By the time they were ready to record a follow-up to Keep Your Heart, Spider had left the band and the relationship between Hause and Sneeringer was tenuous at best. Touring guitar player David Walsh was brought in as a permanent member, as was Chris Gonzalez, Walsh’s former bandmate in Boston-area punk band The Explosion after that band itself went belly up. The situation was unsteady, but the new lineup had displayed a great deal of chemistry on the road. With that and the momentum from Keep Your Heart still providing wind in their sails, the band teamed up with Bouncing Souls’ Pete Steinkopf and Bryan Kienlen to get to work on a new album that would find the band branching in different directions while trying to not abandon their punk rock roots.

The end product, Build & Burn, was released ten years ago today (February 5, 2008). Backed by a rock solid rhythm section, the album maintained many of the melody-rich, uptempo punk rock sounds that made its predecessor so beloved. But the album also stretched in a variety of musical directions that, at the time, didn’t immediately resonate with fans in the same coherent way that Keep Your Heart had. Layers of added texture and an increased desire to tap into some broader musical influences, from Foo Fighter-esque radio ready rockers to mid-90s radio alternative Lemonheads grooves to Oasis style stadium anthems made for an enjoyable and challenging listening experience to the punk rock ear. In retrospect, the album very much finds not only the band and its members – collectively and individually – at a crossroads, but came at a time in which the scene and the music industry and the nation were very much the same place.

The band aimed high, and while opinions may vary as to how successful they were (yours truly thinks its the superior, more relatable Loved Ones full-length), it’s undeniable that they built a bridge to what was to come for its members. To mark the album’s tenth birthday, Dying Scene caught up with its main players – Dave Hause, Mike Sneeringer, David Walsh, Chris Gonzalez, Pete Steinkopf and Bryan Kienlen – to dig deep into the closets and talk about the build up, and subsequent burn out, that produced this misunderstood gem. Check out our two-part story (The Build and The Burn) and track-by-track revisit below!



The Bouncing Souls to celebrate 30th anniversary with new album

In a recent interviewThe Bouncing Souls frontman Greg Attonito revealed that they are in the works to begin writing a new album, which will be released to coincide with the band’s 30th anniversary next year. Greg stated:

“We’re in the works to start writing, and we’re preparing for our thirty-year anniversary in 2019. We’re writing and planning, and brainstorming what our thirty-year project will be. Is it some sort of retrospective and some new songs, and some touring? This week, everybody’s connected via email. It’s time to start making a plan. We have lots of ideas that have been kicking around for six months, so it’s time to start getting the ball rolling. We’re digging up old photos, fan stories… . We’ve been doing this thing on Instagram called #SoulSunday, getting fans to tell stories about their past — anything Souls-related. We’ve been getting great stories, and we’re trying to think of ways to incorporate that into some sort of career retrospective.”

The Bouncing Souls’ latest studio album, Simplicity, was released in July 2016 through Rise Records.



DS Exclusive: 2017 – The Year In Pictures (Jay Stone)

I’m not entirely sure how it’s been a full calendar year since I last put one of these compilation posts together, but here we are. I remember pulling last year’s year-end photo gallery together and thinking “damn…that was a busy year.” Fast forward 365 days, and somehow 2017 was actually busier, featuring nearly three dozen shows in five different states and countless memories that have left me not only crossing items off my bucket list but pinching myself as to how surreal this little hobby has become. I shot shows that varied in scale from catching one of my favorite songwriters (Bryan McPherson) at a little bar (The Thirsty Turtle) in the town I grew up in (Nashua, NH) to catching probably the area’s biggest punk band of the last two decades (Dropkick Murphys) at a 7000 seat hockey arena. I shot two separate Warped Tour stops, one of which (Mansfield, MA) took place in a driving rainstorm that parted for just enough time to allow personal favorites Bad Cop/Bad Cop to play a kick-ass set.

I finally shot longtime faves like The Menzingers and Hot Water Music and The Adolescents and Smoking Popes and Bouncing Souls each for the first time, then shot the Souls twice more. I got to see some old pals like Dave Hause and Jared Hart test the waters in some new projects, and some bands I’ve been friendly with for years, like The Interrupters and Bundles and most importantly my dudes in Rebuilder play on bigger and more prominent stages (that are still somehow smaller than they deserve to be playing). I shot one of my favorite all-time bands (Lucero) on a boat on a picture perfect night in Boston Harbor. But more than anything, I got to share an awful lot of awesome experiences with an awful lot of awesome people, some of whom I’m lucky enough to call friends. I still make a lot of this photography stuff up as I go along, but I try to capture the moments that make performances, no matter how big or small, unique and special – eyes, hands, faces, fists, smiles, scowls, exhaustion, celebration, chaos.

Mike McColgan, Street Dogs

What follows below are some of my favorite moments of the year that I was lucky enough to capture in a way that I’m proud of. If you were at some of these events, hopefully this helps you relive some special moments; if you weren’t able to get out to a show, hopefully we helped bring the experience to you. I’ve got some cool stuff cooked up for 2018; thanks for coming along for the ride!

 



DS Photo Gallery: Bouncing Souls with TSOL and Rebuilder, Cambridge, MA (12/7/17)

The Bouncing Souls kicked off a quick, long weekend run of shows in the northeast by playing a sold-out show at the Sinclair in Cambridge’s Harvard Square. It was the Jersey punk rock veterans’ third time to the Bay State this year, but their first time headlining here in a couple years (editor’s note: the Souls supported Frank Turner at a one-off show back in February and the Rancid/Dropkick Murphys “From Boston To Berkeley” tour in August), bringing their devoutly loyal fanbase out in full force.

The quartet came right out of the gate firing on all cylinders, ripping straight into the one-two punch of crowd favorites “Hopeless Romantic” and “The Gold Song.” If you follow our Instagram feed, you may recall that I posted mid-set that it was the third time I’ve seen the Souls this year — I missed the Rancid/DKM show but I was at the Frank Turner gig and I finally made the trek to Jersey for Stoked For The Summer — and it was hands-down the best sounding show of all. Save for a couple technical difficulties primarily during “Satellite,” — see the confused look on frontman Greg Attonito’s face in the picture above — that remained the case throughout. The other two shows were enjoyable, for sure, but there’s something about how an uptempo, melodic four-piece punk band’s sound translates better in the confines of a 500-ish capacity club than in a hockey arena or an outdoor beachfront stage.

It’s tough whittle down a couple of highlights from a set that didn’t really have an low points. Bassist Bryan Kienlen and new-ish drummer George Rebelo play just about as tight and heavy as anybody in the business while guitarist Pete Steinkopf’s trademark Les-Paul-through-Marshall-stack sound somehow plays much bigger than one might expect a single-guitar attack to resonate. Attonito has always been the type of frontman that leaves the mic stand behind and relentlessly paces the bulk of the stage, and the fact that he’s a new parent — his first son was born just five weeks ago — didn’t seem to leave him any worse for the wear. There was a near non-stop parade of crowd surfers throughout the Souls’ hour-plus set (including at least a dozen trips over the barricade by one particular shirtless, luchador-masked patron), which was not a foregone conclusion at the beginning of the evening given that particularly greyish-haired nature of many of the fans — myself included first and foremost — of the band who are rounding the corner on their thirty year anniversary soon. Particular high points included the opening one-two punch, “These Are Quotes From Our Favorite ’80s Movies,” Attonito trying to dig for Boston-area locations in a site-specific version of “East Coast Fuck You,” a spot-on and unexpectedly surprising cover Avail’s “Simple Song,”the goosebump-inducing singalong that “Gone” has become, and a guest appearance on vocals from Street Dogs frontman Mike McColgan on the classic “True Believers.”

California punk veterans TSOL were provided direct support on each of the three dates on this particular jaunt of shows. Much like how I said above that the Bouncing Souls sound translates better in a venue like Sinclair than it does in a larger hockey arena, the squelching-guitar led early 80s hardcore sound that TSOL helped pioneer probably translates better in a smaller club setting without a barricade between the stage and the fans, much like it did when they played here last year at the Middle East. Frontman Jack Grisham has always had one of the more outspoken, dark humored personalities in the scene – look no further than perhaps the band’s biggest hit, the ode to necrophilia that is “Code Blue” – though I will admit that some of his trademark off-color banter sounds not only incredibly dated but, frankly, uncomfortable in the current climate, not unlike rewatching classic stand-up bits by Andrew Dice Clay might. The core of the band still sounded tight, as you’d imagine given that Ron Emoy and Mike Roche have been Grisham’s wingmen for the better part of the nearly four full decades of their existence (editor’s note: total ignorance on my part, but I’m not sure who’s playing drums now that Chip Hanna isn’t involved). The bands fans — and there were more than a few in attendance — totally still dig the classic sound and seemed to warm up as the set went on.

Local favorites Rebuilder kicked off the show in fine fashion. Plans for their first-ever European tour might have gone belly up last spring, but it’s still been a pretty great year for the five-piece; they released a stellar EP, Songs From The Massachusetts Turnpike, on Panic State Records a couple months ago, toured the west coast for the first time, played a bunch of shows back this way with Dead Bars, did a session for Mike Felumlee’s “Live From The Rock Room,” and continued to grow their fanbase by sharing the stage with acts like Dropkick Murphys, Frank Turner, Bombpops, and Red City Radio. The Souls show proved to be a pretty great cap on the year, and in their typical good-natured, tongue-in-cheek fashion, they made sure to include “Le Grand Fromage,” their middle-finger to the Souls’ home state of New Jersey, right smack in the middle of their set.

Head below for the full photo gallery from the evening!



DS Photo Gallery: The Bouncing Souls’ Stoked for the Summer (w/ Lucero, The Menzingers and more)

As has become an trend among long-running bands who’ve developed a particular affinity for their respective hometowns, groundbreaking New Jersey punks band The Bouncing Souls threw the latest installment in their “Stoked For The Summer” concert events last Friday at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, and it may well have been the best of the bunch.

“Stoked For The Summer” technically takes place at the Stone Pony’s Summer Stage, the asphalt lot immediately adjacent to the legendary venue that turns into a 3000-capacity outdoor beachfront venue once the weather turns warm enough to allow. If there’s an idyllic setting for an outdoor summer punk rock throwdown, it may well be this one. But I digress.

For late August, the weather could not have been better; a warm-but-not-hot, sunny-but-not-overpowering. Timeshares kicked off the festivities in the late-afternoon with the venue still filling in with revelers who were able to pull themselves away from the picturesque setting of the beachfront boardwalk just steps away. The three-piece NY band (playing as a four-piece with the addition of Max Stern on guitar) kicked things off in good form, their uptempo half-hour set going over quite well with the Souls’ hometown crowd. Of particular note: the played played a couple of songs from their still-unannounced but nevertheless upcoming full-length that, if these tracks are any indication, promises to be a banger later this year.

Boston’s Mickey Rickshaw followed and kept the energy level high. We’ve seen the eight-piece Celtic punk swashbuckling crew on some of the smaller stages in the greater Boston area in the past, so it was fun to not only see them take over a massive outdoor stage, but to win over a sold-out crowd of out-of-towners in the process. If you haven’t jumped on their latest, vastly under-rated album yet (last year’s Behind The Eight Ball), you really should stop wasting your time. Check out video of the band’s Stoked For The Summer performance of the track “Not My Problem Now” here.

The Menzingers, who have pretty much retaken their claim as the “it” band of our scene again with the release of this year’s stellar full-length After The Party, occupied the third slot on the bill, taking the stage in the very early evening.  the four-piece from just down the I-95 corridor in Philadelphia could very well have headlined and sold out the venue on their own, lending credence to the strength of the event’s lineup. Their eagerly-anticipated twelve-song set kicked off with After The Party‘s opening track, “Telling Lies,” and had the crowd well whipped-up from the opening notes, inspiring the first member of what would turn out to be an at-times seemingly endless parade of crowd surfers. The bulk of the remainder of the set was a veritable sing-along, and included such crowd favorites as “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore,” “The Obituaries,” the Stone Pony-referencing “Your Wild Years” and set closer “Lookers.”

Lucero occupied the bill’s penultimate spot, hitting the stage as the last remaining vestiges of daylight were taking their leave. As has been the custom in recent years, the band split their set in half, leading off with a handful of acoustic tracks before kicking things up a notch as the set went on. “Texas & Tennessee,” which we’ve established on these pages in previous show reviews is one of the two or three saddest songs in a catalog chock full of sad songs, may be a curious choice for a song to kick off a set for an out of town band opening for a legendary punk rock act in their hometown, but this is Lucero we’re talking about —  one of the hardest working, genre-eschewing bands in the game with a penchant for keeping things, shall we say, interesting — so of course the song turned into a singalong. The set was a little bit close-to-the-vest in some regards; fans hoping for either obscure, rarely-played older tracks or hints as to what is to come on their upcoming full-length would have to wait. Still, Ben Nichols and company were in fine form, with lead guitarist Brian Venable adopting a Willie Nelson sort of visual vibe and bassist John Stubblefield adopting a sort of stone-cold, baddest mofo in the venue sort of visual vibe (seriously, check those shoes in the picture below – and he didn’t even get “seasick”). We’ve yet to see keyboardist/accordion player Rick Steff play a set that he didn’t seemingly enjoy the hell out of, and drummer Roy Berry somehow keeping the whole impromptu set anchored and heading in the same direction. Particular highlights included “Chain Link Fence,” “Tears Don’t Matter Much,” and Nichols’ a capella lullaby rendition of the title track from his Last Pale Light In The West solo EP.

A show that included only Timeshares, Mickey Rickshaw, The Menzingers and Lucero would have been quite a party in and of itself, but this was unmistakably, without question, The Bouncing Souls’ night. Hometown shows for legendary, beloved bands have a bit of a homecoming, high school reunion type of vibe to them, and even though yours truly traveled down from Boston (sadly not with Mickey or the Rickshaws) for the occasion, there was still very much the overwhelming sense that we were among friends and family (and not just because my wife and our daughter came along for the festivities). The band took to the stage surrounded by their own literal families en masse, teasing the first few notes of “Ole” before diving headlong into crowd-favorite “Hopeless Romantic.” From their followed nearly two dozen of the band’s most beloved tracks: “The Gold Song,” “That Song,” “East Coast! Fuck You!,” the ode to their long-time manager/den mother Katie Hiltz “Kate Is Great,” “Satellite,” “Manthem,” “Anchors Aweigh,” and on and on into the evening. They also played a rousing cover of the Avail classic “Simple Song,” an ode to their Chunksaah label brother Tim Barry whose own newest album is due out on that very label next week.

When Dying Scene caught the Souls in Boston in their opening slot at Frank turner’s show at the Agganis Arena, we noted how the band sounded tight but the sound seemed to get swallowed up in the cavernous environs. Yet on this late summer night, the high energy performance from the band and the crowd alike was more than enough to fill a setting that was bound in only by the horizon line. The obvious mutual reverence that the four-piece — founding trio Greg Attonito (vocals), Bryan Kienlen (bass) and Pete Steinkopf (guitar) now being anchored by Hot Water Music’s George Rebelo who seems like he’s been with them on drums forever now — have for each other and for their fans meant the gave the entire evening a positive, celebratory vibe that had people watching and dancing along from nearby rooftop and patio bars for blocks in either directions. A happy and well-deserved celebration of one of our scene’s — and New Jersey’s — beloved bands of brothers. Check out our full photo gallery below!



Dylan Flynn puts bass to good use for charity

Dylan Flynn and Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio.

For most of us, punk rock is a refuge when things get tough, both for those who listen and maybe even more so for those who play. But what happens when tragedy strikes, and playing music cannot be a part of your life anymore?  Read on below to learn more about Dylan Flynn’s story.



Day Two: Punk Rock Bowling 2017 (Vegas)

Well, it was Day Two, and I was already worn the fuck out. Menzingers played the night before and because of my inane sleep schedule, I got home at three am, then woke up at eight-thirty. Just my luck. But, whatever your level of sobriety or awakeness, Punk Rock Bowling waits for no man.

And besides, this was the big day of the festival for me. My OG heroes, Bad Religion, were headlining. Back when I was still wet behind the mohawk, Bad Religion were the ones who shepherded me into the club– there is no missing Bad Religion, so sleep be damned, I was out in the door.

As for the logistics, Day Two was a step in the right direction for all of us press folks. Most of yesterday’s issues were ironed out and we were ready to party. Security was a little harsher than I remember last year, but only a week after the Manchester attack, it’d have been hard to believe there wouldn’t be changes. Too many of those little things though, and it also starts becoming harder and harder to believe that anything really can be punk rock. It’s a reminder that music and subculture are powerless, no matter how dressed up and resilient it pretends to be in the wake of tragedy. A debate for another day– on to the music.

The Venomous Pinks opened the day with some fast, woah-oh filled punk rock. Kinda hardcore, kinda poppy– like an all female version of Night Birds without the horror and surf lyrical focus. With a little research, I found out that they are apart of the same SquidHat Records family as The Quitters who opened on Day Three. The more you know. Following up The Venomous Pinks were another smaller act, (this is the portion of the day where bands no one’s heard of play, and folks skip for gambling or drinking– which is a shame, because for me, punk rock is absolutely about these young bands injecting new blood into the genre) Ten Can Riot hail from Dallas with a lead singer who doesn’t sound Texan in the least. It’s fast epifat-style jams with some aussie-fied vocals. The crowd wasn’t big, but the folks who were there were receptive to the set and I thought they conducted themselves well enough to keep an eye on in the future.

Lost In Society were a pretty big surprise for me. I had heard a little about them before the festival, I’d heard some good things about their last album, but as is usually the case, I hadn’t actually listened to them before. Seeing them on the stage, I got the lowkey hype surrounding them. They are a tight young band with some big hooks who know how to work the crowd. They brought in everyone who might have just been nodding along with their finale– playing the song “Not Afraid” and teaching the audience its call and response chorus of “Nice to meet you/ FUCK YOU TOO!” Fists were raised and words were sung, it was an awesome end to the set.

I’ll be honest here. I fucking hate celtic punk. It’s corny as hell roleplay for guys who want desperately to belong to a different culture, or it’s corny as hell roleplay for guys who want to engage in a caricature of their own culture. Basically, it’s almost never cool. So, you can probably say The Real Mckenzies aren’t my thing– they have the celtic schtick with the tempering measure of being from Nova Scotia.. It’s almost never cool, but fuck it, I can say it was at least fun. The Real Mckenzies had a sense of humor and looked to be having as much fun as the audience was. They brought things down and gave a surprising (for me, at least) ode to the recently deceased Chris Cornell. It’s nice to see these old guys rocking hard and having a good time while being conscientious of what happens outside of the insular world of punk rock.

The Dickies are one of those old school bands that sound like the Ramones, kinda like the Spits from the days before. They hail back from the early days where punk and garage rock were almost synonymous. Catchy, but not really my thing again. Crowd dug it, but I can’t be into everything, you know? They played their set and I nodded along and let the kids who were into have at it. Sometimes that’s all you can do.

Now, The Bouncing Souls. For me, the Souls were the first big band of the night, and the crowd supported that observation. Everyone was up front for the Jersey boys. I’m a rare breed it seems– there’s an interesting phenomenon with this band, there are the people who don’t care for them, and then there’s the folks that are die-hards (and there are a lot of die-hards)– I’m just a casual fan of the band, not a know-every-word fan. I always wonder what it is about the Souls that bring people together in such an intense way. Maybe it’s that bouncy mix of carefree fun and occasional insight that can take the right psyche and turn one into a True Believer. Either way, of the one other time I’d seen them, this was definitely them at their best. Singer Greg Attonito was genuinely animated and engaged with the set. The energy was good and they ripped through a setlist of singalongs for an adoring audience.

Choking Victim was one of the reasons I made Punk Rock Bowling an unmissable event. One could argue, if you’ve seen Leftover Crack a handful of times, you’ve basically seen Choking Victim. And to be fair, every time I’ve seen Leftover Crack, they’ve made sure to play “500 Channels,” so there is some truth there. But, c’mon. It’s Choking Victim. If you even like them just a little bit, you wanna be able to say you saw them. I was happy to see they got just as strong, if not stronger response than the Bouncing Souls. There was a moment when I looked around and saw all the punks shuffling back and forth, excited as Stza and co. walked on stage and realized: everyone is here for Choking Victim. The front of the stage was packed with punks, for a moment the entire festival ground became part of the crowd. There was no disappointment, they instigated and antagonized with their music (and made sure I got to hear “500 Channels” for a fourth time), with Stza introducing a song dedicated to the police at the venue, about killing cops. It’s not Punk Rock Bowling, and it’s definitely not Choking Victim without a little authority baiting.

The weirdest part of the day wasn’t so much a disappointment as just a bum note. What the fuck was up with Fidlar? They’re fine folks, I’m sure. They play some garage rock/hardcore/ surfy indie rock amalgam, and I know some of the younger kids are into them. They have a little bit of inherited pedigree as one of the members is the son of a member of TSOL. But, no matter what they take from the sounds of punk rock, there is something off about them. It’s like an impression of punk rock rather than an honest interpretation. The crowd agreed too. It was weird seeing so many open spaces in the pit, people looking around, bored and confused at what these rich kids in costume were peddling. Yeah, they had all the moves– they rolled on the stage to play solos and they screamed into mics, but it never felt right. This is punk for kids who go to Coachella. It felt out of place at Punk Rock Bowling.

But, even the weirdness of Fidlar couldn’t really quell the energy of the evening. Bad Religion was going to play. The one band everyone has in common. The gateway band that survives the initial waves of growing taste. Bad Religion are a hard band to grow out of. The crowd moved in a rush toward the stage as the opening notes of “American Jesus” rang out. There was a lot of discussion over what they would open with at Punk Rock Bowling, among the guesses were “True North,” “Against the Grain,” and “Do What You Want” (mine), but Meredith (photographer extraordinaire) and Jeff (friend of Dying Scene, and all around chill dude) nailed the selection. What could me more iconic and rousing to bring the punks together for a headliner? When I’d seen Bad Religion before, they played pretty solid ninety minute sets, so it was actually kind of nice to see a shorter, crisper stage headlining set, about fifteen minutes shorter with a more casual sense of kinship and fun. For Bad Religion, it felt like their thousandth victory lap, and they’re still smiling past the finish line. The set had one extremely notable moment, when NOFX singer/bassist Fat Mike ran on stage in a dress and high-jacked Jay Bentley’s bass to play with the band on “We’re Only Gonna Die.” That’s why you go to Punk Rock Bowling, folks. It’s those kind of moments that you can’t get anywhere else.

They closed with “Fuck Armageddon… This is Hell” as per usual, a song that has become their own “Bro Hymn” over the years. The great thing about Bad Religion though is that they have so much good material to work with, that whatever comes before that is sure to be great. To list all the songs they played would be a challenge (and fucking boring), but you got hits like “Supersonic,” “Generator,” “Los Angeles is Burning,” “Do What You Want,” “Suffer”: whatever they play, it’s gonna be good.

The fest was a-raging that night and despite the weird misstep with Fidlar– who should’ve traded spots with the Bouncing Souls and played earlier in the night– I had to admit it was one of the best lineups of PRB I had ever seen. Choking Victim, Bouncing Souls, and Bad Religion are three pretty huge bands, and I managed to see ‘em all in an evening. That’s killer.

Check out what happened in the photo gallery below and stay tuned for our final installment in our drunken recollections of the beauty and madness that is Punk Rock Bowling!



Bouncing Souls release “Satellite” video

New Jersey punk veterans The Bouncing Souls have released a music video for “Satellite”, taken from their latest album Simplicity. Check it out below.

Simplicity came out in July, 2016 through Rise Records.



DS Photo Gallery & Show Review: Bouncing Souls in Santa Ana, CA (3.16.17)

As my username may suggest, the Bouncing Souls are my all-time favorite band. Seeing them live is always an amazing experience, but having the opportunity to shoot the show was a dream come true. After nearly 30 years in the punk scene, the Souls’ set it still infused with energy as if it is the first time they are gracing the stage. With 10 full length albums, there is no shortage of songs to comprise the setlist (anyone else lucky enough to catch the “For All The Unheard” shows back in 2011? The LA ones still rank as some of the best shows I have ever seen!).

The Bouncing Souls’ catalogue includes many anthemic sing-alongs for their hour+ long set, and this night at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA was no exception. New songs were peppered in with all the old favorites, including “Anchors Aweigh,” “Kate Is Great,” “Ghosts on the Boardwalk,” “The Gold Song,” “Sing Along Forever,” “That Song,” “Writing On The Wall,” “Manthem,” and (of course) “Hopeless Romantic.”

I wish I could have seen the opening bands, but unfortunately, the LA to Orange County traffic on a Thursday prevented me from seeing Get Dead (and I walked in at the end of AJJ‘s set). The Souls alone were worth the hours in traffic and I can’t wait until Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas to see them again!

Check out the gallery from the show below.



Rancid and Dropkick Murphys announce co-headlining “From Boston To Berkeley” tour

For all of you that have been living under a rock over the last twenty-four hours and have subsequently not been on the Internet…Dropkick Murphys and Rancid are co-headlining a North American tour this coming summer!

Dubbed the “From Boston To Berkeley” tour, the month-long jaunt kicks off July 27th in Bangor, Maine, and runs through August 26th in Los Angeles. (We’ll just let that one percolate for a minute.) If the co-headliners weren’t enough to get you out to a show, the two heavyweight bands are bringing along a handful of openers who are pretty impressive in their own individual rights. Support on the first half of the tour (through August 9th in Milwaukee) comes from The Bouncing Souls and Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers. The second half kicks off two days later in August 11th and features support from The Selecter and Kevin Seconds. Head below for the full rundown!