ASBURY PARK — If you’re ever in a bar, contend some divey mark off Route 18, and we wish to stimulate a exhilarated contention among patrons, ask loudly: “hey, are The Bouncing Souls a New Brunswick rope or an Asbury Park band?”
Older punks will certainly carillon in that a rough foursome is, of course, from a Hub City, where they rented a residence on Commercial Avenue in a early ’90s, hosted a list of sweaty DIY concerts and helped favour a storied groundwork uncover theatre that still rages around Rutgers’ campus today.
But afterwards you’ll hear from a counterculture’s latest era — cleaner Docs, fresher tattoos, reprint Descendents t-shirts — who’ll disagree a Souls are certainly an Asbury rope in 2017; they play a holiday unison array during The Stone Pony each December, and guitarist Pete Steinkopf’s Little Eden studio, a internal citadel for punk bands via a state, is located in the city by a sea.
Fair points from both sides, though after a mad opening on The Stone Pony Summer Stage Friday night, where a princely organisation rollicked before scarcely 4,000 fans — a largest headlining throng a Souls will play all year — it seems a latter locality competence strictly be a band’s new home base.
This was a stronger, some-more energetic outing than a final time we reviewed a group, back in 2014 for a singular performance at a small Court Tavern in New Brunswick, where 200 diehards were pressed in a bar’s aged basement.
Singer Greg Attonito was amped Friday night, and while his button-down dress shirt competence have suggested business-casual banter, he was a celebration personality for this “Stoked for a Summer” show, powering by a band’s famed soccer chant-turned-punky singalong “Ole!” and after a throttling fan favorite “East Coast, F*** You.”
For a latter, Attonito switched a lyrics to embody additional Jersey towns and when he mentioned Spring Lake — a slightest punk-rock place possible — a few fans shrieked with disapproval. Attonito couldn’t assistance though detonate into delight (neither could I).
Over an 80-minute set a Souls stranded mostly to a aged things (their final manuscript was 2016’s fun if not irrelevant “Simplicity”) rolling out all a staples: “Hopeless Romantic,” “Lean on Sheena,” and many of a band’s many renouned album, 2001’s “How we Spent My Summer Vacation.” Sing-alongs were imminent, from a throng of 20-somethings as good as punk relatives who brought their mohawked kids to see a band. Multi-generational fandom for any rope is always heartening to see.
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Kudos to Steinkopf, who did yeoman’s work as tune builder on all those fast riffs. And a band’s new drummer George Rebelo was most tighter this time around than behind in 2014, when he was clearly still training some of a tunes.
For a classical going-out jam “Manthem,” a Souls welcomed behind Philadelphia’s The Menzingers, one of a night’s 4 openers, to a stage, and it felt a small like a torch-passing, from a organisation who once dominated a internal theatre to a still-blooming rope whose built a outrageous following in New Jersey.
Much of a throng came to a Summer Stage early to locate The Menzingers, who are furloughed on a strength of “After a Party,” a torpedo punk manuscript expelled in Mar and one of my favorite annals of 2017. On a manuscript a rope sings utterly a bit about Asbury and a expectedly played “Your Wild Years” and “Lookers,” that namedrop The Stone Pony and The Wonder Bar.
The dusk throng was down for The Menzingers, though not so most for a higher-billed opener Lucero, a reputable country-punk organisation from Memphis, whose slower rhythms and dirty gusto never prisoner a audience.