Bad Religion / Bouncing Souls - live in Denver (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Bad Religion / Bouncing Souls

live in Denver (2010)

live show

The Filllmore on Colfax Avenue in Denver is a big venue, holding over 3,000 people. Bad Religion and the Bouncing Souls are big bands, so this setting made sense. There's nothing that can replace the feel of a small, intimate punk rock show, with the bands two inches away from you, screaming the lyrics straight to your face, but larger-scale shows such as these have a charm of their own. It feels like a special event. It feels like you're a part of something. Something big.

Off with Their Heads opened the night. I couldn't have asked for a better opener. I've seen them a few times in the past couple years, and they always put on a great show. However, this was the first time I'd seen them not headlining, so it felt kind of weird not having everyone go crazy while they played, but they killed it anyway. At the end of a shitty week, an OwTH show is just good for the soul. Ryan was smiling pretty much the whole time and joking around with the crowd, which was kind of odd, but cool to see. They didn't play "Die Today" or "Fuck This, I'm Out," which was kind of a bummer, but oh well.

Set list (from memory, probably not complete or in exact order):

  • All I Can Do
  • I Am You
  • For the Four
  • 1612 Havenhurst
  • Drive
  • Trying to Breathe
  • The Eyes of Death
  • Terrorist Attack?
  • S.O.S.
  • Janie
  • Clear the Air

The Bouncing Souls played next. They were solid, and put on a fun show, even if they did seem to be just going through the motions at times. The crowd didn't seem to mind, though. As soon as the first notes of "Highway Kings" rang out, the place exploded. For the entire time they were on stage, it felt like a Bouncing Souls headlining show. Greg Attonito coming down into the crowd for "Lean on Sheena" and later the closing 1-2 punch of "True Believers" and "Here We Go" elicited some of the biggest sing-alongs of the night. I'm not familiar enough with their entire catalog to give a complete set list, but they definitely played "Highway Kings," "Private Radio," "Sing Along Forever," "No Rules," "East Cost Fuck You!", "Gasoline," "Gone," "True Believers" and "Here We Go."

After a 30-minute set change, Bad Religion came out and proceeded to absolutely fucking kill it for 90 minutes. Best live band in punk rock. Against Me!, Social Distortion and Green Day are the only bands I can think of who come close. You can disagree, but you'll be wrong. These gentlemen know how to put on a show. The set list was a little heavy on their new album, The Dissent of Man, which I'll admit I haven't really sunken my teeth into yet, but it appeared that the rest of the crowd had. Nearly everyone sang along with every word. It was also a nice surprise to hear "21st Century Digital Boy" right in the middle of the set, instead of saving it for the end. Credit where credit is due--he might not be the most energetic frontman in the world (understandable, since he's been at it for 30 years), but Dr. Greg Graffin knows how to work a crowd. He got the 3,000+ punks in the room going absolutely crazy. I know because I was in front of them, smashed against the barricade all night. It's already been a few days and I'm still sore. Totally worth it.

With Bad Religion celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, and the Souls their 20th last year, it's inspiring to see these guys still going at it after all these years, and realizing that punk has affected a lot of people for a very long time. Any of these bands are worth paying to see separately, but together, this is not a show to be missed.

Set list:
  1. Do What You Want
  2. Overture/Sinister Rouge
  3. We're Only Gonna Die
  4. Recipe for Hate
  5. Flat Earth Society
  6. Before You Die
  7. The Resist Stance
  8. I Want to Conquer the World
  9. 21st Century Digital Boy
  10. New Dark Ages
  11. The Devil in Stitches
  12. Hear It
  13. Let Them Eat War
  14. Only Rain
  15. 10 in 2010
  16. You
  17. Avalon
  18. Anesthesia
  19. Atomic Garden
  20. Wrong Way Kids
  21. No Control
  22. Infected
  23. Los Angeles is Burning
  24. American Jesus
  25. Generator
  26. Sorrow
  27. Fuck Armageddon, This Is Hell