Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Ole, Ole, Ole: Bouncing Souls in Vegas

For once, I was lucky in Vegas - I was able to catch the Bouncing Souls at the House of Blues during our Presidents' Day Weekend trip. The Souls filled the middle slot of the "Tales from the Gutter Tour" featuring The Briefs and Me First & The Gimme Gimmes.

Though it was a bit of a disappointment that they weren't headlining, the Souls certainly didn't disappoint. The set was full of material from their latest record Anchors Aweigh. They opened up with that album's opening track "Apartment 5F."

As the songs slowed down a bit it was quite apparent that leader singer Greg Attonito's voice was in a bad state. His voice didn't just sound bad, it sounded painful. While a lesser band may have skipped the gig completely, the Souls kept swinging - Greg kept the crowd going by constantly jumping into it.

About halfway through the set, Greg's sore voice seemed to loosen up a bit and the band tour through such classics as "K8 is Great," "Say Anything" and "Hopeless Romantic." The tracks from the new album were a lot stronger live, especially the airtight "Highway Kings." The band ended its 45-minute set with the beautiful "Night on Earth."

The most memorable part of the evening came thanks to some of the idiots standing in front of us. One kid was wearing a belt that had an electronic marquee for a belt buckle. He could type in whatever he wanted it to say and then the message would scroll across the screen.* He found it necessary to both hold the screen above his head and to continuously rotate it so everyone could see it. What did he want to broadcast to the audience? He spent half the time scrolling “Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies” (spelled incorrectly) – I guess that was in case anyone was unsure which band they had paid to see - and the other half advertising “Somebody Brew Me.” Surprisingly enough, some very desperate girl did eventually buy him a beer. I imagine his arm must have been tired after holding that stupid thing up for three straight hours.

*I was happy to see an advertisement for these belts in Rolling Stone yesterday. For $95 you can buy a belt that will annoy fellow concert-goers.

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