The Bouncing Souls spread their holiday cheer around the world this year in celebration of their 30th Anniversary as a band. For the last leg of their 2019 tour, they conquered their home coast of the east before the holidays. Philadelphia had a big turn out that they played not one, but two shows where the Saturday show was a rare matinee show. The show was originally scheduled for the evening, but down the road at the Wells Fargo Center, Misfits added one more show to round out their year. The Souls moved their show to a matinee time not just for the fans to do two shows in one day, but the Souls themselves would also be in attendance! Regardless of the time of the show, the Bouncing Souls, the Bronx, Strike Anywhere, and Barstool Preachers played with the same energy as an evening show.
Due to traffic, I was unable to see Barstool Preachers, but from others in attendance I was told they were a great band. Upon my arrival Strike Anywhere took the stage and performed a politically hyper infused show. For 20 years Strike Anywhere have kept to their core beliefs while sharing those beliefs through their effective live show. Lead singer Thomas Barnett spent his time either on stage or in the crowd while everyone sang along. There wasn’t a moment where Strike Anywhere was at a stand still, and that also sums up there 20 years as a band.
After Strike Anywhere, The Bronx kept the energy going in the most energetic way. By within the forth song lead singer Matt Caughthran was in the middle of the crowd screaming and moshing around in the circle pit. He didn’t come back on stage until some time later, but as soon as he did, he was back on the floor to finish out the set. The rest of the band had the same intensity including drummer Joey Castillo where you could see the emotion radiated behind the drumset. The Bronx are known for their intense show, but for a Saturday matinee, Matt Caughthran wanted Philly to treat the show as any other show and make sure everyone was moving nonstop. The Bronx is a band not to miss live.
For their last PA performance of the year, the Bouncing Souls ripped through over 20 songs spanning their 30 year career. With a slightly different setlist than Friday’s set the Souls performed flawlessly even though the show was less than 24 hours from the night before. Even though they had the Misfits show right after their set, the Souls did what they always did for the last 30 years and that was give the true believers a memorable show. All the fan favorites were played like “Hopeless Romantic”, “Lean On Sheena”, “East Coast! Fuck You!” and others, but hearing the newer songs like “1989” and “Here’s To Us” prove that the Souls continue to make unforgettable music. For being around for 30 years, the Bouncing Souls continue to do what they have done when they first started, play great music, have fun, and continue to build a community around their music. If the two Philadelphia shows are any indication, the Souls show no stopping this belief and lets hope it continues for another 30 years.