Across four sold out nights at Asbury Park’s Stone Pony, The Bouncing Souls combined their twentieth anniversary celebration with their third annual “Home for the Holidays” shows. Night three of four featured support from tourmates Bayside as well as Minnesota rapper P.O.S. and labelmates Static Radio NJ. For such a celebration, the band took handpicked setlists; Monday night’s setlist was chosen by Lisa Demodna.
Static Radio NJ kicked off the evening with their blend of Jersey punk. The three-piece, rounded out with a fourth rhythm guitarist, Dave, who learned a few songs for the night’s set, played strong for about twenty minutes. Drawing from their debut full-length, An Evening of Bad Decisions, Static Radio NJ’s sound can be likened to that of Lifetime and The Loved Ones.
Stefon Alexander, better known as P.O.S., followed with an exciting style of raw hip-hop. Far removed from the mainstream constraints of the genre, P.O.S. spent about thirty minutes tearing through cuts from 2009’s Never Better. Involving the crowd with a plethora of singalongs, the Minneapolis-born rapper connected with the punk-rock crowd and readied the audience for Bayside and The Bouncing Souls.
Directly supporting The Bouncing Souls, Bayside opened with 2005’s “Tortures of the Damned”. The Walking Wounded‘s title track followed, with the crowd exploding during its infectious chorus and Jack O’Shea’s monster solo. The lone Shudder track, “No One Understands”, was one of the night’s highlights, and it’s unfortunate that the band strays away from that excellent 2008 album.
Frontman Anthony Raneri engaged the crowd for most of the set, with giant singalong choruses on songs like “Carry On”. “Masterpiece” lead to fierce pits and dancing before pre-show request, Smoking Popes cover “Megan”, slowed things down. “Montauk” and obligatory closer “Devotion and Desire” rounded out a strong eleven-song setlist:
Tortures of the Damned
The Walking Wounded
No One Understands
Blame it on Bad Luck
They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns
Megan (Smoking Popes cover)
Devotion and Desire
Following chants of “Here We Go”, The Bouncing Souls exploded on stage and tore through the Maniacal Laughter cut. The brand new “Never Say Die/When You’re Young” followed, with a string of classics including Hopeless Romantic‘s “Kid” and also its title track. The Avoid One Thing cover, “Lean On Sheena”, was a full-crowd singalong. Greg Attonito was cool and collected throughout the set, moving through old songs (such as 1994’s “The Guest”), new songs (“Ghosts on the Boardwalk”), and covers (Sick of it All’s “Good Looking Out”) with confidence and precision. The full setlist (thanks to John Fox for this information):
Here We Go
Never Say Die/When You’re Young
K8 Is Great
Quick Check Girl
Lean On Sheena (Avoid One Thing cover)
The Ballad Of Johnny X
The Gold Song
Kids and Heroes
Ghosts On The Boardwalk
Punks In Vegas
Good Looking Out (Sick of it All cover)
Moon Over Asbury
Sing Along Forever
The Freaks, Nerds, and Romantics
The four song encore (beginning with the instrumental “Moon Over Asbury”) ended with fan-favorite “The Freaks, Nerds, and Romantics”, and the entire crowd could not have been more pleased with The Bouncing Souls’s performance. Maniacal Laughter saw the most songs–five–but the band did a great job of reaching across their entire discography. The Bouncing Souls are set to release Ghosts on the Boardwalk in mid-January, a collection of songs issued over the last year on a series of quarterly EPs. Be sure to pick it up on Chunksaah Records, as the cuts from that album were just as strong live as the old favorites.
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