Saturday, May 03, 2008

Somethin's Changed Inside of Me...

As far as I can tell, the last concert Sarah and I went to together was the Bouncing Souls/Street Dogs show at the Black Cat in October, 2006. She was seven months pregnant and, as some of you may remember, this was not a great evening...

So it was a neat little bit of symmetry that our next show together was last night when we saw the Bouncing Souls again, this time at Mr. Smalls in Millvale, PA. As you can see if you click the link, the venue is inside of an old church, the main room of the club being the sanctuary, a good sign if music truly is a religion...it was kind of a strange spot, with weird traffic flow through the room and bar areas. Plus, it was hot as balls. One of the hottest venues I've been in since the glory days of the old 9:30 club in DC. And poorly ventilated. And for a church, the accoustics weren't all that great, although my perception of that may be compromised by the fact that we were about six feet from the speakers on the right of the stage, not exactly the sound's focus point, probably. But, we had a great vantage point, and Sarah was out of harm's way.

This was, I think, the 10th time I've seen the Souls, and as I get older, so do they. Last night's set started out very promisingly with "Hopeless Romantic" being a surprise opener followed up quickly with "Say Anything," prompting me to give up the glasses and camera and spend my obligatory two minutes in the pit banging around. That's about all I can do anymore...From there, they said "Hi!" and then hit the chords to "That Song" but that was quickly abbreviated when an over-zealous crowd surfer tried to take the stage, much to security's dismay. The guy got on stage, tried to circle around the Souls' guitar player, The Pete, but was brought down by the bouncer, crashing into Pete and taking him, his guitar and his mic stand into the barricade with him in one big pile. A mess...the band stopped playing as roadies rushed out to rescue Pete and security hustled the offending fan out the side door of the club. After five minutes or so, Pete was back up, tuned up and ready to go. They skipped the rest of "That Song" and launched right into "Cracked," one of Sarah's favorites...she managed to get a little video of it...



We took a bunch of pictures, but none turned out that great...here's a few though...

Here's a half decent shot of Greg and Brian...


Here's the aforementioned, The Pete, sweatin' on guitar...


One of the funnier moments of the show was a ukelele and "spoons-on-the-knee" cover of Sick of It All's "Scratch the Surface," as seen here...

Other songs on the set-list, as far as I can remember in no particular order included, "No Security," "Kate is Great," "Private Radio," "Kids and Heroes," "Kid," "Manthem," "Lean on Sheena," "Midnight Mile," "The Something Special," "The Ballad of Johnny X," "Gone," "East Coast Fuck You," "Sing Along Forever," "The Guest," and a closing accoustic version of "Night on Earth." Of course, amidst all that, they played crowd favorite, "True Believer," by which point, the bouncers had basically given up the barricade. Sarah got a great little video of me on stage, rushing to sing along with Greg, before people in the front row tried to pull me, Greg and the mic into the crowd...I'm the guy with jeans and black t-shirt putting my arm around Greg before disappearing into the crowd...

All in all, it wasn't the best setlist I've heard them do, it wasn't the best venue I've seen them in and it certainly wasn't the best crowd I've been in, either. That said, it was a night out with my wife, without kids and with some really loud music. When I left the show last night I said it was a bit disappointing. But sitting here today, with my ears ringing, my shin bruised and "Say Anything" bouncing around in my head, "I can say, I have no regrets today..."

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