We couldn't have guessed that the Gaslight Anthem would take the stage only a half-hour after doors, so we missed their entire set. Fortunately, we heard the set was made up of only the four songs from the new EP, one new song and a couple from the full-length; craving a Sink or Swim-heavy set, it seemed we'd live.
Tim Barry was about ready to go when we arrived. With my (now shaved) playoff beard on face and PBR in hand, I was ready to give him another chance despite being largely uninterested by both Rivanna Junction and the set they'd played at our CMJ showcase. Blasphemy, I know. My efforts were rewarded with a surprisingly enjoyable set from the good ol' boy, but now I know why -- Barry appeals to me way more when he's stripped down to the essentials: his voice and guitar. He played the set alone as his sister, Caitlin, was home pregnant, and his other bandmate Josh Small was busy playing a show with his other band, Brainworms. Barry was in great spirits and put on a rugged, superb performance. He engaged the excited crowd, who had plenty of his fans; he even teased us with a few bars of the Cash cover, but refrained from playing it in full. For the first time I really found myself following Barry's narratives closely and very much captivated by his storytelling. He may have converted me just yet.
Set list (7:18-7:50):
- ? -----
- 222 -----
- Idle Idylist -----
- ? -----
- Church of Level Track -----
- Avoiding Catatonic Surrender
A hooded fan came up just before "East Coast Fuck You!" and stole the mic right out of Greg's hands, and the band figured what the hell -- let's let him do a karaoke version of the song. The seemingly drunken fellow didn't know the words too well, at one point just constantly shouting "New York City!!! Fuck you!!!" But he gave off a classic NYHC swagger and thrusted the mic into the crowd so they could shout the (correct) lyrics back. This was when of Greg's multiple stage dives took place.
At one point, Greg picked up an acoustic guitar and strummed away for several songs. This resulted in super bizarre yet hysterical moments like the slowed down, serious vibes of "I Like Your Mom" and a balladic version of the Misfits' "Hybrid Moments," which had everyone grinning and shouting along. However, the best might've been Greg's solo ukelele cover of Sick of It All's "Good Lookin' Out"; easily one of the strangest covers anyone in the audience could've witnessed, it was nonetheless really fucking funny.
They also took just one request ("Quick Check Girl") and used it to kick off a four-song block that would precede the encore. That very encore seemed to end in underwhelming fashion for many in attendance, but I think the prolonged outro winded things down nicely.
Overall? Damn. I've seen the Bouncing Souls plenty of times before and enjoyed it, but this definitely takes the cake. 26 songs, pretty excellent vibes for a rambunctious crowd and good times had by all.
Set list (8:25-9:33, 9:35-9:46):
- Hopeless Romantic
- Say Anything
- That Song
- Cracked -----
- Lean on Sheena (Avoid One Thing cover)
- The Something Special
- The Freaks, Nerds, & Romantics
- Headlights Ditch -----
- Joe Lies (When He Cries)
- I Like Your Mom (downbeat version) -----
- Good Lookin' Out (Sick of It All ukelele cover) -----
- Hybrid Moments (Misfits ballad cover) -----
- Gone (mostly acoustic) -----
- No Security -----
- East Coast Fuck You! (karaoke) -----
- The Ballad of Johnny X -----
- Midnight Mile -----
- Quick Check Girl (request)
- Private Radio
- Sing Along Forever
- True Believers -----
- Kids and Heroes -----
- Night on Earth (Greg's acoustic accompaniment)