09.30.13 | Bouncing Souls | Music Hall of Williamsburg

As part of the RedBull Sound Select series, the Brooklyn stop, curated by BrooklynVegan, brought local bands to the Music Hall of Williamsburg Monday night.

Opening the show was Aye Nako, a Brooklyn based band, self-described as "Four weirdos trying to find their confidence/sexuality/harmony/pay day" (via Aye Nako facebook page). I understand RedBull's mission to bring local bands to the forefront, but this was an ill fitting placement on the bill. I could hear many WTFs uttered as the clearly un-punk band took the stage. The only thing punk about them was the off key singing, vaguely reminiscent of other early stage whiny pop-punkers. Though musically adept, the singing was really off putting.

Next up was Nude Beach, another Brooklyn band who sounded desperately like a rip-off of the Kooks or the Strokes. No doubt about it, this was a solid band who performed like professionals but though their music was audibly appealing it was plain.

Following was Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem. I am not familiar with his solo work so lacked the enthusiasm of the room of fans who were singing along to every word. The experience evoked the same feel of a Dashboard Confessional show, with Fallon and his guitarist playing acoustic at the front of the stage, and the audience singing back, louder and with even more earnest. To finish off their set they brought the Bouncing Souls to play a few acoustic songs.

I was afraid that that was what the show was going to be, an acoustic mellowed out version of the Bouncing Souls, but luckily after a short break, the real act came out and the crowd came to life. They did not disappoint, playing favorites from How I Spent My Summer Vacation and Anchors Aweigh while the audience catapulted themselves off the stage into a swirling pit of bodies. It's exciting to witness this music still thriving and igniting the same energy as it did when it first came out, and that it still brings me the same joy it did when I first heard it.
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