Event: The Bouncing Souls At Crossroads
It’s a little difficult to calculate how many bands The Bouncing Souls have influenced over the years.
The Souls – a punk rock band from Central New Jersey – started their career of short, intense songs 30 years ago.
Not many bands that get started expect to still be doing it 30 years later. Especially a punk band.
But these guys – lead singer Greg Attonito, guitarist Pete Steinkopf, bassist Bryan Kielen, drummer Greg Rebelo – have been at it a long time and their influence stretches far and wide. Kerrang Magazine ran a great article on this very topic. Many of the bands I’ve shot – from The Gaslight Anthem to The Vansaders – are standing on the very tall shoulders of the Souls.
I won’t lie. I didn’t always know about The Bouncing Souls. You move to New Jersey, and and you hear about Bruce, listen to Bruce. But then the circle widens and you start to find out about the history of music in the Garden State.
And because I like those bands I mentioned above, I fell down the rabbit hole, found the Souls a few months ago and have been listening to them every since.
Had to find their roots. Now I know.
When I found out they would do a pre-“Critical Moments” tour, acoustic show (billed as the Hopeless Romantics Club) at Crossroads, I made a couple of calls and got on the list to shoot them.
Pulling taps on St. Patty’s Day
So, on St. Patty’s Day evening, a full house crowded into the intimate club that is Crossroads and they saw themselves a very fun show.
This was an acoustic/storytellers affair, almost like what Brian Fallon did back in December. Greg ran the show and directed traffic, even taking song suggestions (and coaching the rest of the band through some of the more vague ones.)
They played for a solid two hours, giving me time to work the room to see what I could see.
One really fun part of the evening: When the band did The Ballad of Johnny X…and Johnny X (far right, next to Pete) came onstage to play guitar on it!
Another really fun part: Before the show started, I overheard someone mention “Wilkes-Barre.” I had to dip my head into that conversation, and explain how I grew up in the Wyoming Valley, just outside of Wilkes-Barre.
Then, during the show, Greg from the Souls name-checks WB (I thought I heard him wrong, can’t really remember what the context was.) But after the show, as people are milling about, I see the same guy from earlier. So I ask him about if he heard it too, and he confirmed it for me.
He introduced me to his three friends, and they said they were getting ready to drive back to Wilkes-Barre that night (he wasn’t drinking so he’d be doing the driving.) It was a pleasure talking to them, so I had to snap their picture.
After promising we’d meet back up in Asbury Park for Stoked For Summer in July, I told them to have a safe 2 1/2 hour ride home.
I was glad to shoot this show. It was a very fun evening, though albeit pretty chill. My favorite song of the night was Lean On Sheena. Next time I shoot the Souls, I hope it’s one of their full-on punktastic productions.
Then, after picking up some merch, I had to shoot one more before I hit the highway for home.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018