Photos by Josh Casuccio, review by Liz Baillie
Following the success of a musical experiment this past winter in which it played all eight of its albums over a four-night stretch at Asbury Park’s Stone Pony, the Bouncing Souls decided to take the show on the road and bring the fun to cities all over the world. From July 6 through 9, New York’s own Highline Ballroom was treated to this spectacle, and fans of all ages came out in full force to support their favorite local punk rock legends.
The shows were formatted in the style of a boxing match between two albums each night, complete with tuxedo-ed ring announcer and ring card girls (with the exception of ring card boy/Rocks Off promoter Jake Szufnarowski on one fateful night in which we were treated to far more than we ever wished to see), all to the strains of such inspirational classics as “Eye Of The Tiger” and the theme from Rocky.
The band tore through each night’s albums with few interruptions and, much to the audience’s chagrin, absolutely no encores until the final night. For the closer, Bouncing Souls would only play rarities and cover songs it hadn’t already played, though one large fellow would not take “no” for an answer, and his plaintive cries for “East Coast Fuck You” could be heard throughout the pit. Alas, the band had already played that on Night Two, so it was not to be.
A low stage and no barricade meant that stage divers and crowd surfers ruled each and every show, but Night Three found them out with a particular zeal for destruction. Monitors were toppled, setlists were torn to shreds, and mic stands went flying in every direction as bodies flew from any available surface during the performance of the band’s 2001 release, How I Spent My Summer Vacation. Normally mellow and reserved, vocalist Greg Attonito snapped (albeit joyfully) and started throwing mic stands, figuring if you can’t beat ’em, join em—he left bassist Bryan Kienlen and guitarist Pete Steinkopf to sing “No Comply” on their own as he dove into the audience to swim his way around the room, popping back up to tackle Kienlen before finishing the last verse.
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