Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Bamboozle Festival @ Asbury Park, NJ

Dave Grohl on the big screen!
Bamboozle Festival @ Asbury Park, NJ - May 19, 2012
Review: Geanna B. and James MacFie

3 days. 7 stages. A bajillion bands. 

Hold on to yo’ butts, everybody – it’s about to get nostalgic as shit up in here.

From the deep lava pits of yesteryear’s Surf and Skate Festival came The Great Bamboozle, rising above the dirty Jerz like a golden Phoenix and demanding sonic booms to flood Asbury Park with a siren song of intense punk rock. And dubstep, apparently. Always an eclectic lot, the festival has taken on many iterations over its 10 year existence, holding shows in the northern New Jersey Meadowlands, as touring acts across the country, and all the way over on the left coast of California. Returning to where it all began, this anniversary brought the ‘boozle back to the shore - to a crowd of thousands on the beach, motherfuckin’ rain or shine. 

Luckily, it was shine. But with Blink 182 out for the count and My Chemical Romance chosen as a replacement, we went to Bamboozle like birds with injured wings. Our dreams of seeing a united Blink had been thwarted, and no group of smartly dressed boys in makeup was going to make up for that. As we tried to figure out our plan of attack, we realized that headling Foo Fighters were playing when four other bands we wanted to see would be on at another stage. This was total balls, but we made the best of it. Want to hear about some highlights? Sure!

We arrived at the beach, battling through crowds of meatheads, just in time for Anti Flag. If you’ve never seen this band live, you are in for a TREAT. Their brand of hardcore political punk is nothing if not intense, but their sound is full and strong and brings that extra sprinkle of rage the kids are so keen on these days. There were banana costumes, mohawks, thrown bottles of beer, blow up sharks and cans of silly string galore. They sounded awesome, and immediately demanded a circle pit. And not just a circle pit, “THE LARGEST PIT THAT’S EVER BEEN IN FRONT OF THIS STAGE SO BACK THE FUCK UP AND LET'S GET THIS SHIT ON!” We backed the fuck up. One can never be too careful while a song called "Broken Bones" is playing.

Next on the stage was Less Than Jake, a band we have loved since high school, and will forever be a band that makes Geanna happy that she knows how to play the saxophone. Yep, that's right. The Saxophone. Referring to themselves as the “old guys,” they ran circles around the crowd with just as much energy and ska punk glory as ever. Did we mention its their 20th anniversary as a band?! No, we don't feel old AT ALL!

They plowed through so many classics: Losing Streak’s "Automatic", Hello Rock View’s "All my Best Friends are Metalheads" and one of our personal faves, Pezcore’s "Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts". A-mazing. Honestly, we could have watched them for hours on end (and we have, actually), but the Bamboozle gods were against us, and LTJ's set was cut short and they abruptly left the stage. This shit was SAD, yo. We chanted! We cheered! We punched some dude in the face! But alas, all of our efforts were for naught. Less Than Jake did not return.

Like wounded soldiers with scraps of paper for shoes, we hobbled over to the Main Stage to catch a little band called the Foo Fighters. Standing all the way behind the VIP section (which we're pretty sure was filled with naked cast members of the Jersey Shore) and unable to see anything except the large screen projections of the band, the Foo Fighters still sounded pretty damn good. We were totally (fist)pumped to hear "Big Me" and "This is a Call" live (ah, middle school...), but a little confused by a very long, meandering interlude during "Monkey Wrench". Bearded Renaissance Man Dave Grohl, wondrous as he is, kind of wandered around the stage for a long time before coming back to reality and finishing the song. It was... awkward. But the boys made up for it with a kick-you-in-the-nuts rendition of Pink Floyd's "In the Flesh", which just to happens to be Jamie's favorite Floyd song! Everyone wins!!

Closing the show with "Everlong", the band was whisked away by helicopter to play SNL with Mick Jagger. No big deal, that's how they roll. The rest of us were left on the beach, surrounded by fireworks, weird late-night dance parties featuring fire-eating bro's, and waaay too many people in in neon shorts. But hey, this is the Jersey Shore. And this is where the magic happens.

Booya! Check out the setlists below!

Foo Fighters Setlist
All My Life
The Pretender
My Hero
Learn to Fly
White Limo
Cold Day in the Sun (Dave played drums and Taylor sang!)
Big Me
These Days
Monkey Wrench
Hey, Johnny Park!
This is a Call
In the Flesh (Pink Floyd cover)
Best of You
Breakdown (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers cover)

LTJ Setlist
All My Best Friends are Metalheads
Help Save the Youth of America From Exploding
Gainesville Rock City
The New Auld Lang Syne
Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts
The Science of Selling Yourself Short
The Ghosts Of Me And You 

Anti Flag Setlist 
The Press Corpse
Broken Bones
Fuck Police Brutality
This Is the End (for You My Friend)
Die for the Government
Power to the Peaceful 

1 comment:

  1. Am I the only one wondering if you got to see jwow naked in that pit??