Bouncing Souls / Strike Anywhere - live in Halifax (Cover Artwork)

Bouncing Souls / Strike Anywhere

live in Halifax (2007)

live show

Living in Atlantic Canada means living with a severe lack of top quality punk shows. In the eyes of most touring bands Canada officially ends in Montreal, so when a tour as good as this comes around it's a pretty big deal. The Bouncing Souls have long been one of my favourite bands, and their presence alone would have been more than enough to justify booking time off and paying the ridiculous bus fare to travel from buttfuck nowhere to the Mecca that is Halifax, but add Strike Anywhere and the Loved Ones and it becomes unmissable.

Opening the show was Static Radio NJ, a band that I was previously unfamiliar with, but was pleasantly surprised by. They were very energetic, despite having a pretty small crowd to perform to, and seemed to be genuinely appreciative of the few fans that did participate. Thier set was short and to the point, with a heavy dose of Kid Dynamite. Unfortunately I can't remember any songs they played, but they definitely left a good impression.

Up next was Fat Wreck's own Loved Ones. Their debut full-length Keep Your Heart was easily my favourite album of 2006, so I was eager to hear how it translated live. The band opened with a killer version of "100K," and proceeded to crank out nine others from the album. The crowd was much better this time around; obviously the Fat Wreck exposure has paid off for them as a good amount of fans were singing along to every word, even the ones the clearly intoxicated Dave Hause failed to sing himself. Highlights for me were "100K," "Player Hater Anthem," "Jane" and my favourite from the album, "Breathe In."

Strike Anywhere were up next, and they lived up to thier rep as being an outstanding live band. From the opening riffs of "Refusal" and on, the band delivered an extremely passionate set, pausing only briefly between songs for Thomas to add some political banter and to comment on how surprised they were to be so well-recieved by the Halifax crowd. I think they were caught off guard by the fact that everyone in the first row, myself included, were screaming out nearly every word to each of the 12 songs they played. The set was fairly balanced between each of thier three full-lengths, with only one song from the Chorus of One EP making the cut. Given the short amount of time they had they can't really be faulted though.

As the Souls set up, the floor of the Attic filled and tension grew. The crowd started up the "ole!" chant and handclaps. It was obvious that most of the people in attendance were here to see the Bouncing Souls, and for good reason. I had never seen them live before, but I've heard a lot of mixed comments about thier live show. Although people always seem to have a good time at Souls shows, they have a reputation of sometimes not being totally "into it," Greg especially. This was not one of those times.

They kicked it off with the opening track to the newest record, "The Gold Song," and followed with a set that drew heavily from The Gold Record, How I Spent My Summer Vacation and Maniacal Laughter. Having so many fan favourites to draw from, there were some songs I would have liked to see, but I can't really complain too much with the choice of songs represented. Highlights for me were "The Gold Song," the Avoid One Thing cover of "Lean on Sheena," "True Believers," "Johnny X," "Argyle" and "Freaks, Nerds & Romantics." For the encore Greg came out to do a solo accoustic rendition of "Say Anything," then the rest of the band joined in for two more songs to close out the show.

This was easily the most fun I've ever had at a show, and I highly recommend anyone that has a chance to catch this tour to go.

Set lists, in order:

The Loved Ones

  1. 100K
  2. Suture Self
  3. Breathe In
  4. Player Hater Anthem
  5. Hurry Up and Wait
  6. Sickening
  7. Benson & Hedges
  8. Jane
  9. Living Will (Get You Dead)
Strike Anywhere
  1. Refusal
  2. Sedition
  3. Infared
  4. Laughter in a Police State
  5. Hollywood Cemetary
  6. Amplify/Blaze
  7. Detonation
  8. Chorus of One
  9. Prisoner Echoes
  10. To the World
  11. Instinct
  12. Sunset on 23rd
Bouncing Souls
  1. The Gold Song
  2. Private Radio
  3. That Song
  4. Hopeless Romantic
  5. Lean on Sheena
  6. The Something Special
  7. ECFU
  8. No Rule
  9. Better Things
  10. Kate Is Great
  11. True Believers
  12. Moon Over Asbury
  13. The Ballad of Johnny X
  14. Sing Along Forever
  15. Argyle
  16. Fight to LIve
  17. The Pizza Song
  18. The Freaks, Nerds & Romantics
  19. Gone
  20. Encore:
  21. Say Anything (acoustic)
  22. Kids & Heroes
  23. For All the Unheard