Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Bouncing Souls at Irving Plaza

Greg Attonito
Raised in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, guitarist Pete Steinkopf and bassist Bryan Kienlen played in a cover band in the mid to late 1980s, and Greg Attonito occasionally sang a few songs with the band. Eventually the time came for the musicians to get serious about their music, so the high school students started writing original songs in Attonito's dad's attic. In 1989, a supportive music-loving teacher contributed $120 to cover expenses, and the Bouncing Souls debuted live in Bernardsville, New Jersey. The band adapted its name from a shoe company's slogan promoting "bouncing soles." The band members later moved to a nearby college town, New Brunswick, which had a reputation for supporting underground music. George Rebelo replaced the band's previous drummer in 2013. The quartet released its 10th studio album, Simplicity, on July 29, 2016.

The Bouncing Souls headlined three consecutive nights at Irving Plaza, playing a different set list each night. On the final night tonight, the band performed 27 original songs and one cover (Avoid One Thing's "Lean on Sheena"); three of the self-written songs were from the new album, but all the rest of the songs were at least 10 years old. By and large, the set was comprised of songs drawn of the same spirit: fast, light-hearted compositions, constructed equally for moshing and chanting along. The musicians briefly slowed the tempo for breathers like "Night Train" and "Old School," but otherwise the band led a steady militaristic charge with basic rock and roll drills. Attonito's vocals rallied, Steinkopf's stinging guitar lines sizzled and the rhythm section's powerdrive support made for a lean and clean punk rock framework. These simplistic structures made many of the songs sound perhaps too similar, but nevertheless gave the fans in the audience something to bounce their souls.

Visit the Bouncing Souls at

  1. Apartment 5F
  2. Highway Kings
  3. Some Kind of Wonderful
  4. The Freaks, Nerds, & Romantics
  5. Lean on Sheena (Avoid One Thing cover)
  6. Tightrope
  7. Kate Is Great
  8. Say Anything
  9. Here We Go!
  10. Cracked
  11. Gone
  12. Night Train
  13. Old School
  14. Driving All Night
  15. That Song
  16. Sing Along Forever
  17. Writing on the Wall
  18. Broken Record
  19. You're So Rad
  20. Monday Morning Ant Brigade
  21. The Gold Song
  22. Kids and Heroes
  23. Lamar Vannoy
  24. True Believers
  25. Hopeless Romantic
  26. Encore: Born to Lose
  27. Kid
  28. Night on Earth