- A three-day music festival that includes the performances of roughly every relatively well-selling act in the punk/emo/hardcore/indie spectrum.
- The act of littering the streets, fields, and roads of Asbury Park with stickers, flyers, pins, posters, newspaper, people, trailers, vans, equipment, and tour buses for three straight days.
- One of the most catastrophically disorganized events in the history of man.
Over the course of three days this past weekend, the Bamboozle made its debut. The three-day festival, while including a plethora of acts in which there really may have been something for everyone, was truly thrown together in the most chaotically disorderly of ways possible. Throughout its course, set times were constantly changed/shortened/delayed, stages were often "put together" or moved, and the main stage area (indoors in Asbury Park's Convention Hall) as well as Saturday's Hot Topic stage (indoors in the Stone Pony), was closed off by the local Fire Marshall for capacity reasons for several bands. After paying $80+ for a 3-day pass, you very well may have missed a certain band you came to see. Also, most merchandise was sold indoors and upstairs at the Convention Hall - therefore, you may have needed to wait in line just to buy said merch. The Street and MADE stages were outdoor stages that sat next to each other, and though a part of Bamboozle, were free to the public. This was made rather unclear by Max Cruise Entertainment (who put on the festival). Incidentally, this is also where most of my weekend was spent. That being said, here are the full sets I caught from Day 1:
- I managed to flitter my way inside of the Convention Hall just as the Blood Brothers were taking to the stage. Most of their set, unsurprisingly, derived from Crimes. They started off with the two most vicious tracks from said album: "Trash Flavored Trash," followed by "Beautiful Horses." "Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck" and "Rats And Rats And Rats For Candy" made appearances as well, plus "Peacock Skeleton With Crooked Feathers" if I'm not mistaken. Older tracks included "Guitarmy" and "Fucking's Greatest Hits," played back-to-back, and "Jennifer." Despite their usual energy, the band seemed an awful lot sloppier than usual, but it was an enjoyable set regardless.
- I caught a song or two from the Receiving End Of Sirens. The band's sound is generally a more fleshed-out take on Thrice's AITA, complete with three-part harmonies, epic melodies, and bold choruses. They sounded tight, though they couldn't seem to quite capture the occasional atmospheric moments from their recently released full-length, Between The Heart And The Synapse.
- The Honorary Title played essentially the same set I'd seen them play play in Indiana, PA several weeks ago. They started off with "Points Underneath," and threw in "Everything I Once Had," "Bridge & Tunnel," and the other EP-derived song that I still don't know the title of.
- Prior to their set Friday night, I've just about been blown away every time I've seen Nightmare Of You. Maybe it's just because they're exponentially better than the MovieLife (lead singer/guitarist Brandon Reilly's former band), but it's probably more in that the band draws inspiration from 80's acts like Morrissey and the Cure and never at all comes off trend-hopping. While this set certainly proved my theory, I was a little less overwhelmed than past performances from the band, but it was likely due to the fact that I was even more familiar with three of the songs they played ("Why Am I Always Right," a reworked "Yuengling," "Dear Scene, I Wish I Was Deaf,"). They played one other new track, which seems to depend a little less on an effects pedal manipulated-laden bridge and more atmospheric guitar strokes, but was good nonetheless. The band was obviously pissed after their last song ("Dear Scene..."), after complaining the sound mix sounded like "a whale's vagina" and having their set cut short; they basically dropped/threw their instruments and walked off, returning moments later in probably forgetting they had to take them completely off stage.
- I barely managed to catch an entire Minus The Bear set; I'd started to walk away after the band mumbled their name and location and I only caught the latter, but then they dived right into "Let's Play Clowns," and I realized just who this mysteriously laid-back band on stage was. The Seattle-based outfit romped through a few more, including "Fine + 2 Pts.," a song from Highly Refined Pirates I don't quite remember, and a new, near-epic song with not one, but two fake endings, both of which had me clapping like a gullible idiot. While the midtempo declaration is pretty standard Minus The Bear fare, it has a generally stronger feel for them, and if it's any indication of their forthcoming effort, Menos el Oso, the record should be an indie rock saga and easily their best effort yet. The band sounded just as they are on record and served up an enjoyable twenty-ish minutes to end my day.