Bouncing Souls / Grey Area

Bouncing Souls / Grey Area: live in Philadelphialive in Philadelphia (2008)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5

Contributed by: madaseelmadaseel
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I was pretty excited for this one. Sure, like everyone else, I have seen the Souls a million times. At this point, it's a nostalgia trip for me seeing them. In the end, it comes down to the supporting bands, and usually the Souls tour with great acts. Hot Water Music, Lifetime -- there is always a r.

I was pretty excited for this one. Sure, like everyone else, I have seen the Souls a million times. At this point, it's a nostalgia trip for me seeing them. In the end, it comes down to the supporting bands, and usually the Souls tour with great acts. Hot Water Music, Lifetime -- there is always a reason to go see the Souls play.

This time, though, it was especially awesome. Grey Area was playing!

We walk into the Starlight, though, and immediately know this is a bit different than what we're used to. It's far too big for this show, really. However, the year is 2008, and kids would rather spend their money on fluff like Girl Talk than see the timeless Grey Area perform. The place was basically empty as Grey Area took to the stage.

Their loss. Ernie and the gang came out and ripped off a few from their sophomore effort, Fanbelt Algebra. Equally awesome as their first album but far underappreciated, it left plenty of room for my friends and I to dominate the dance floor. Once Grey Area started in with the older, more beloved material, the crowd really got stirring. They are an amazing sing-along band, and with Ernie's crystal clear voice, it's easy to remember just how great these guys are. The high point of the show came when they performed the hell out of "V#2," which Ernie introduced as the best song he's been associated with, which, if you know anything about his place in punk rock history, is a lofty statement.

Lucky for us, they came out and performed an encore. This was easily the best moment of the entire show. First, they did a fantastic version of "We're Only Gonna Die," the classic Bad Religion tune. It brought the house down. They finished it off with the first song off the self-titled, "Right Now!". Great performance.

Next up was the Souls.

What can I say about the Souls? Eight years ago, every song would have been a dance riot for my friends and I. Now, we pick and choose the numbers we want to get down to. Maybe we are getting older, or maybe the Souls catalog has been watered down. Either way, it just isn't quite the same.

They opened with "East Coast, Fuck You!". Who doesn't love that one? Now, however, the crowd was so heavy we could barely move. Where were these kids for Grey Area??? Shame, shame. Anyway, soon the Souls moved onto newer material from The Gold Record and Anchors Aweigh, both of which are not my favorite albums. They did "Neurotic" and "I Like Your Mom," and it was about this time that I was wondering if maybe I am a little old for the Souls. About mid-way through, though, they did something different, something completely new for this band, and considering I have seen them 75 times or so, that's pretty amazing.

They went acoustic!

Greg picked up the guitar and mid-way through "All of This and Nothing," the wonderful quick-hitting Maniacal Laughter song, and slowed it down for a five-minute jam session. That didn't go over so well, but they made up for it with a more acoustic-appropriate choice next, the wonderful "Gone." Love that song so much. Great moment, and it shot right into the always-wonderful "Johnny X." A few cuts from the self-titled, the title track from Anchors Aweigh, and just like that, they're off the stage.

For the encore, they went back to the acoustic guitar. A Misfits cover that really hit home -- I'm from Jersey -- and the beautiful "Night on Earth" ended the show.

Overall, it was a good show. I have to say, I hate Starlight, and this may be the last time I ever go. The sound is awful. It's hard for anyone to sound good there. And, even for a punk show, it was really, REALLY loud. My ears still hurt.

As for the music, Grey Area was the highlight. The Bouncing Souls -- I love 'em, but I have seen everything from them. I did like the somewhat gimmicky acoustic session, but it made sense since they have some music that really translates to it well.

Good time.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
asxyouxwish (September 26, 2008)

grey area killed it. i had to lug my bookbag around with all my bike gear in it or i would have raged much harder. before me was definitely the highlight of the set if ya ask me.

souls were good but the lack of sound quality really hurt them.

14theroad (September 25, 2008)

That guy from Gret Area on the KD pisses me off.

nacho8675309 (September 25, 2008)

I was at that show it ruled, eveybody out was ok, grey area ripped, it was so cool even though their was like 25 people in the crowd and the souls did a fantastic job, although did not really like the venue choice.

skankbook (September 24, 2008)

Was at the show, it was one of the better times seeing them in recent years. They usually go through phases where they'll play a similiar set ('03-'05, '06-'07), and this was a solid mix of old and new. The acoustic breakdown of "Headlights! Ditch!" was totally unexpected, as was the acoustic Misfits cover and "Gone." Also, it was "Lay 'Em Down..." , not "Neurotic."

The only reason I'm not giving it a 10 is because we misread the start time of the show and missed most of Grey Area. -1 for me.

Here's the new song:

misterspike (September 24, 2008)

Ahhhh the Souls. Can't wait to see 'em Nov 1 in Ft. Laud. Been far too long. Any 'orgers goin ... buy an old tattooed guy a beer, for cryin out loud.

Craig-TheRebelCounty (September 24, 2008)

Score's for not mentioning Everybody Out!

Sweet review otherwise!!

magneticbedhead (September 24, 2008)

Grey Area is one of my all time bands. Unfortunatley, they were long gone before I got into them. However I did see them at the Kid Dynamite CBGB benefit show. It could have been one of the tightest sets I have ever witnessed. The s/t album has some of the catchiest shit. Check them out.

danpib08 (September 24, 2008)

Great night, sorry that the crowd was so young and did not know who Greayarea are, they sounded so tight and the BR cover was an awesome encore.

bwisott (September 23, 2008)

Thanks for telling us you have seen the souls 75 times, 75 times. If you are so old then why did you go and bitch about being old. Dumbass...

Torgo (September 23, 2008)

That was Headlights... Ditch! Not All Of This And Nothing... just sayin'

joeg (September 23, 2008)

gray matter > gray area (still an awesome band). stoked i finally got to see gray matter. looking forward to the souls and strike anywhere tour.

LooseKanonYankee (September 23, 2008)

God I would love to see Grey Area (or even The Arsons) play
but they will never make it out to Califronia

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