The Bouncing Souls @ The Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

Live Reviews | By on Jan 9th, 2006

Opening Bands: Leftover Crack, The Pietasters
Date: December 30th 2005
Venue: The Starland Ballroom, Sayreville NJ

When seeing the Bouncing Souls in New Jersey, it’s sure to be great, and 12.30 at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville was no different.

If not for the Souls’ amazing set, openers Bench Press 3000 (BP3K) would have absolutely stolen the show. With their motivational thrash version of a Jane Fonda workout video, they are dedicated to getting rockers back in shape. Their slogan, “The scene is not dead, just out of shape” sums up their inspiration for their songs like “Atkins Diet Riot” as well as their onstage weight lifting and bread throwing antics. They are certainly a band worth checking out, preferably in a live setting in order to witness first hand, their outlandish stage presence and performance. If they have their own website, it is nearly impossible to find, but for some quick fitness tips, they are locatable at MySpace.com/benchpress3000.

Next up was Leftover Crack who were warmly welcomed after making themselves more scarce since the death of their drummer last December. They played favorites, “Crack Rock Steady” and Choking Victim hit “Suicide”, but neglected to include “Rock The 40oz” in their set. Singer, Scott “Stza” Sturgeon’s preaching was met with rowdy applause from most of the crowd who appreciated the variety of songs with cop-killing themes. The band was musically tight and a perfect opener for a much anticipated Bouncing Souls set. However, stuck in between were the Pietasters, and while they gave it their all; the crowd seemed disinterested in seeing a ska band follow two harder sets. Even “Maggie Mae”, “Freak Show” and their opener, “Drinking and Driving” which are usually crowd pleasers, were met with mere passive applause. The lack of enthusiasm from the crowd did not deter the Pietasters, though. They were upbeat (literally) and energetic on stage, acting as if they were playing to a room full of diehard fans.

Responding to “Ole” chants, the Bouncing Souls took the stage to the tune of fellow hometown hero Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” blaring. Playing old and new favorites, the Souls were brilliant. Most of their set can be heard on their new live album, “Live” including “Gone”, “Anchors Aweigh”, “East Coast Fuck You” and “Johnny X” featuring the one and only namesake of the song. Contrary to normal fashion, they played “Moon Over Asbury” which they rarely include in their sets. They also leaked a new song that is sure to be featured on their upcoming release due out 06.06.06. Unfortunately, they still neglected to incorporate “Shark Attack”, as usual, but someday they will wise up and please those select fans who request it constantly. Despite that minor setback, they were phenomenal, as the unruly crowd surfing and screaming along can attest to. The Souls never disappoint, and certainly play their hearts out at home in Jersey. They’ve certainly found a way to find what’s good and make it last.

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