How I spent my summer vacation. A writing assignment most children have to complete their first week back to school after the summer break. Most essays are filled with trips to the beach, amusement parks, bbqs, camp, etc. However, I am curious about how many kids will mention seeing The Bouncing Souls perform their album How I Spent My Summer Vacation in full. There was plenty of young kids in attendance due to their parents bringing them along. Not a bad way to spend a day of summer, not to mention the show was being recorded. Who ever writes about this day for their school assignment should get an A in my eyes.
Opening the show was Asbury Park natives Seaside Caves. A fairly new band signed to Chunksaah Records. The band labels themselves as Neu-Wave Post Punk Gloomy Yet Hopeful. Think The Smiths and The Cure. Seaside Caves didn’t have a lot of time on stage, but what they presented was a good representation, definitely a change of pace to what I am used to. While watching them on stage, they used the lights and smoke machine to set the mood to their music. Their sound is very mellow and calming. As I watched all I could think about is if this band was bigger their stage presence could be massive, meaning seeing Seaside Caves is an experience. Hopefully their break will come and their stage production gets bigger, see them soon before they get too big.
The next two bands caught me by surprise. I heard of each band, but didn’t know how popular they are. First up was Screaming Females. Another Jersey native band, from New Brunswick which is down the road from Sayreville. The crowd went crazy for this band as soon as they walked on stage. Rock and roll is the best way to describe Screaming Females, and fronted by a talented female singer. Her voice may not be “American Idol” type for an average listener, but she can wail and play the guitar flawlessly. Her guitar solos were jaw dropping. With barely any talk between songs, Screaming Females played straight threw with little to no breaks. An eye opener band for sure. Check this band out on their current tour.
The following band that shocked me was Andrew Jackson Jihad. Signed to Side One Dummy Records, I had no idea how big their following is. Again as soon as the band came on stage everyone in the crowd was jumping around, crowd surfing, and moving around. For some reason Andrew Jackson Jihad reminded me of Say Anything, not so much sound, but lyrics and fan base. Their sound is unique though, folkish and indie, but not all there. They definitely have their own sound. I could see them touring with Kevin Devine and The Front Bottoms if they haven’t already. It’s amazing to see that everyone was pleased with all the opening acts, The Bouncing Souls put together a nice show package.
Closing the show was The Bouncing Souls. Before they went on they had a video being played from their 20th Anniversary, which I couldn’t really hear, but had a Tim and Eric feel to it. Coming out to National Lampoon’s Theme Song “Holiday Road”, the band broke into How I Spent My Summer Vacation. Being a long time fan, this was my first time seeing The Bouncing Souls and I spent most of my time watching my back. I felt like the barricade was going to fall over with how many people were crowd surfing and moving. Playing through the album, The Bouncing Souls still play with their heart and soul. Lead singer Greg Attonito would constantly get in the crowd’s face and make his rounds shaking hands in between songs, including selfies. After playing How I Spent My Summer Vacation the band came back on stage to play additional songs. Surprisingly they played mostly older songs and covers. We did get a taste of new songs though. I wasn’t able to catch the names, but it looked like Greg had the lyrics next to the setlist on stage. They were that new. The first new song was very fast and quick, sounding like older Bouncing Souls while the second one sounded like something off How I Spent My Summer Vacation. They didn’t say where or if these songs will be released, but if they are I think fans will find them to be their favorite. As I said this was my first time seeing The Bouncing Souls and definitely not the last, especially since they announced new shows and one of those is in Lancaster, PA. I wish I was back in school, because I would’ve been the kid writing “How I spent my summer vacation with the Bouncing Souls”.