Monday, November 29, 2010


I went to this show really excited to see the Bouncing Souls and indifferent about Bad Religion. I left the show stoked on Bad Religion (again) and really bummed about the Bouncing Souls.

They've fallen into the same trap that doomed so many punk/hardcore bands I really liked growing up. They spent so much time on the road playing shows and being punk rock that they don't know how to do anything else. They don't really like doing it, but there really aren't any other options for these guys. It's strictly a paycheck gig for them and it shows. They go through all the motions but there's no heart in it at all. Maybe they just had an off night when they were here and the rest of the shows were great, but somehow I don't think so. It's the same thing that happened to Slapshot and it came out in full in the documentary that was made about them. They all hate playing in the band, but they get paid lots of money to do it from time to time so they keep on going. It's sad, really. I'd rather never see them again and remember them fondly than see them do a half-assed version that leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Bad Religion, on the other hand, was far better than I expected. These guys, to me, are the exact opposite of the Souls. Greg Graffin, the singer, is an author and college professor and Brett Gurewitz owns one of the (still) most successful indie labels putting out music right now (Epitaph). These guys have other things to keep them busy and only tour once in a while, aside from Warped Tour. And you can tell that it's just a huge release for them. It's fun for them to do and they don't look like they're bored to death on stage. I had planned on catching the first half of the set and then bailing, but they were too good. I had to see it through to the end, and I'm glad I did. Fantastic show by them.

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