Live (May 9th to May 12th, 2011)
Reggie's Rock Club - Chicago, IL
Ass tattoos, fist bumps, cute girl in her undergarments, killer openers, stagediving, crowd surfing, and the ultimate sing-along (forever!); sounds like the best weekend ever – and it was pretty close. The Bouncing Souls came to Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago to play all of their unheard tracks for a 4-night stint that covered their entire discography from May 9-12, and they did not disappoint.
The band started with The Good, The Bad, and the Argyle on Thursday, and ended with Ghosts on the Boardwalk on Sunday. Every night the band was supported by great opening acts such as The Flatliners, The Arrivals, The Falcon, and The Copyrights. After more than 20 years together, the Souls were still able to pack the house every night. Saturday evening was sold out, and even though Sunday was the least crowded night, the room was still filled to the back bar.
Highlights of the weekend included the Friday and Saturday set which consisted of Self Titled and Hopeless Romantic on Friday, and How I Spent My Summer Vacation and Anchors Aweigh on Saturday. The crowd looked tame enough throughout the openers, where little movement occurred throughout the room; with the exception of Saturday where a decent amount of people danced, pushed, and sang along to the Chicago bands the Night Brigade and the Falcon. It was clear that the Souls were the reason everyone was there, and the club became more packed as the evening progressed.
Whenever the Bouncing Souls took the stage for a new album, a pretty girl in her underwear and bra would come onstage holding a big picture of the album cover to the background noise of Rocky music, and an announcer spitting out facts about each Souls release. As soon as the band would take the stage, the crowd exploded into a huge pit, and bodies started lunging into the air, and onto the stage of a venue that holds a pretty stiff no stagediving/crowdsurfing policy. In fact, when security would try to pull a crowdsurfer to the ground, there were instances where the crowd would pull the other end of the person to keep them away from security and up in the air.
Both Thursday and Sunday also had a very positive response, although the Sunday crowd was much tamer, potentially because they had been there all weekend. A few times over the course of the weekend, singer, Greg Attonito, would walk across stage to fist bump crowd members, and extend the mic out to the enthusiastic fans. There was also some fun fan features where a fan got to play trombone with the band, and they someone was choosen to reenact the back-and-forth conversation in Shark Attack. One die hard person came onstage to moon the crowd his combo “hopeless romantic” and Bouncing Souls logo butt tattoo.
Some opener headlights include the Falcon, who played with Derek Grant (the drummer of Alkaline Trio) on bass. Brendan Kelly’s shotgun of an entire Old Style Tallboy in mere seconds kept the fans enthusiastic, and overall their performance was fun and energetic for a band Brendan Kelly claims isn’t really a real band. Another shining opener was The Copyrights, who played many new songs off their upcoming Red Scare release. The new songs sounded really good and the record is due to be released later this summer.
The Bouncing Souls never disappoint, their fans are really dedicated, and it was a really unique, incredible experience to hear all of their albums live. To see all of the songs you don’t expect to ever hear live all in the span of one weekend is indescribable. Hopefully we keep seeing these guys tour year after year, will get some new material to check out soon, and it is apparent that their fans, the true believers, will indeed be singing along forever; even if they do only go on tours so they can eat other people’s food.