Bamboozle: Day 1 by Tina Teresi
Bamboozle. First time for everything I suppose. I attended the first day for the sole purpose to hear the miraculous sounds of a band I refer to as my musical muse, The Get Up Kids. Ticket in hand, I headed out to my first music festival of the summer. I was on the fence about attending since Skate n’ Surf, in my opinion, was a better festival then Bamboozle will ever be. To catch everyone up, the first Bamboozle was held in 2005, booked two weeks prior to a very similar festival (Skate n’ Surf) at the same venue (Convention Center, Asbury Park). Pretty sneaky Max Cruise Entertainment. You can sort of judge a festival on how it’s going to be based on what you see when you first enter. Well, I saw tons of stages off the bat, carnival rides like the Ferris Wheel and Bumper cars, as well as some carnival games, a mass of people roaming after a couple hours of opening, monkeys dressed up as clowns riding dogs, and a tent that looked like one big acid trip. It was going to be a good day.
Monkey in a clown suit
I’m sure the first thing on your mind is “a tent that looks like an acid trip?” Bamboozle was sponsored by Wonka this year, and what would a Wonka sponsored event be without free candy all day, airbrushed tattoos, and t-shirts if your dance moves proved you worthy. Monster Energy had a trailer set up, giving out free drinks all day long which defiantly kept the crowd awake and ready to hear some great music!
The first band that had the pleasure of rocking my ear drums was The International Superheroes of Hardcore, a side project of New Found Glory. Guess those happy punk beats caught up with them. This group is strictly hardcore and includes all five members of NFG; Gilbert and Pundik switch tasks, vocals to guitar and vice versa. Next up was The Riverwinds, an unsigned band from NJ who came in 3rd place at The Break! Contest this year. The band is so easy to listen to, like on the Tom Petty or The Eagles scale. The main guitarist had some amazing solos. Keep an eye on this band; they may just be the next big thing to come out of New Jersey.
Over on the Wonka Stage, one of two main stages, The Bloodhound Gang started playing. I was excited to see them live for the first time ever, up until it was time to sarcastically toast NJ. Good thing the food and drink prices were as high as they were, otherwise, I would have thrown up at least $18 bucks. Bassist Evil Jared Hasselhoff proposed to end the feud once and for all between The Bloodhound Gang and NJ by toasting and chugging a giant beer. Once drank, he threw the beer back up into the glass and proceeded to drink that. Trust me, watching it live was way worse than reading it. There was some more vomiting in hats, but I’ll spare you those details because you get the idea. Aside from the test of the ol’ guttiwuts and kicks to the family jewels, their live potty mouth performance rocked as much as I expected. They played “Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss”, “Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo”, and finished with their classic hit “Bad Touch”. (Please read my beef about what happened in this crowd at the end of the article)
The Bloodhound Gang
Gavin Rossdale put on an impressive performance. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I have not been following his solo career. Luckily, he played lots of Bush classics, starting with “Machinehead”, “Chemicals Between Us”, “Everything Zen”, and ended with “Comedown”. I never had the chance to see Bush live, and thought I’d never get the chance to hear some of these songs again, I was pleasantly surprised. I consider Gavin Rossdale one of the best leading rockers around and was pumped that his performance was incredible. It almost felt like I was back in 1996.
Cage the Elephant was one of the bands that really stood out this year. Hailing from Kentucky, these rockers were the buzz of the festival. They were certainly no let down live; rocking guitar riffs and sweet bass lines flowed freely on the Zumiez Stage. They incorporate so many musical elements ranging from folk and rock to blues and funk. Cage the Elephant is blowing up in the UK and I predict that it will only be a short while until becoming a smash hit in the US.
Oh New Found Glory, the nostalgia you bring back. I went into the crowd not expecting a stellar performance and came out unchanged. I’ve yet to see Jordan Pundik perform without getting winded or leaving the audience to sing most of the lyrics. I have seen NFG many times through the years, but always find their CDs sound better. The energy and personality are always there, but the vocals not so much. Still, their set made me happy and brought me back to my high school days.
Finally, The Get Up Kids were up, the only reason I was in attendance at Bamboozle! What a performance! Just being in the audience and hearing some of my all-time favorite songs were enough to make me go weak in the knees. With the roars from the crowd, I’m sure the band got the message that the tri-state area would love for them to start recording new music. This was defiantly the best performance of the day, even though I’m a tad one-sided. They played all the greats- “Holiday”, “Action & Action”, “Don’t Hate Me”, “I’m A Loner Dottie, A Rebel”, and “Mass Pike”. Before they started playing, they commented on how old they are and that they love it. Music doesn’t have an age; you play how you feel and that really emanated throughout the set. The way their music makes me feel is beyond words, and this performance was on the same level, absolute euphoria.
Rob Pope of The Get Up Kids
I only caught the last few songs from Never Shout Never, another buzz band this year. Honestly, the songs I did hear sounded exactly like the ones on his MySpace page. Christofer Drew appeals to the 13 year old girls of the world. His catchy pop hooks are enough to keep you reeled in for days. Seriously though, I sing “Trouble” all the time. Never Shout Never, hands down, had the best merchandise; foam hands giving peace signs engulfed the entire audience and festival. Now that’s marketing!
Linc’s special guest took the stage, but conveniently was not introduced. This left the audience wondering if Journey was actually on stage that night. They sounded dead on and from far away, somewhat resembled the 80s rockers. Later on or better said, days later, the masses found out that it was a tight Journey cover band from Long Island called Evolution. I couldn’t tell the difference on that day though. I mean, they played four songs, totaling the number of hits that the band had. If the real Journey was going to be there, I figured there would have been more press.
The last band I saw was Third Eye Blind. They played great, lots of energy and the size of the crowd was insane! I stuck around to hear “Never Let You Go”, a total crowd pleaser. I’m upset to say that I have not heard much of their new music. But what I heard live sounded good to me and will pick up a copy of Ursa Major when it comes out next week.
Band I wish I got to see: – InnerPartySystem and Edna’s Goldfish, who reunited to play at Bamboozle. Honorable mentions: Hey Monday, Kids of Survival, and Stick to Your Guns
Bamboozle: Day 2 by Daniel Petrino
Unfortunately I didn’t have the dollas to attend both days of Bamboozle, so I went to the second day to see the one and only No Doubt. [insert girlish shrieks] After several failed attempts to enter the venue (Dear Bamboozle Event Staff: Die in a fire. Love, Me), I finally made my way into the show a little aggravated and a lot soaking wet due to a very steady drizzle. Since this is a music blog, I won’t go into all the fabulous, 80s and 90s inspired hipster and scenster clothing brands or the lovely surgical masks with “FUCK SWINE FLU” emblazoned across them, but there were some interesting clothing brands represented.
After catching The Ataris singing ‘Boys of Summer,’ the last song of their set, I made my way through the crowd to the Imagination Stage to hear Tinted Windows, Taylor Hanson’s new project. While the music was decent, the lyrics sounded like a more mature version of Hanson’s lyrics. Big surprise there. Okay, I lied. I only went to the Imagination Stage and stood through Tinted Windows so I could get a decent spot to see The Sounds.
I knew their set was going to be good when I saw the roadies popping beers and strategically placing them around the stage for easy access. With a high energy set and some songs off their upcoming third album, they did not disappoint. They didn’t play any of my favorite songs (‘Dance With Me,’ ‘Queen of Apology,’ or ‘Hurt You’), but they rocked the stage to a crowd who screamed the lyrics to every song. I’ve missed The Sounds at a bunch of local shows, so I was thrilled to finally see them live. If you’ve never listened to The Sounds, check out the aforementioned songs, plus ‘Tony the Beat’ and ‘Hope You’re Happy Now.’
I stumbled across Ultraviolet Sound on the Kazoozle Stage while I was wandering around, and they proved to be one of my favorite performances of the day. If you’ve never heard of them, and you probably haven’t, they sound like the love child of Jeffree Star and Lady Gaga. While their lyrics aren’t anything to write home about, their music is perfect to bounce around to. Their set felt like a public dance party, and their cover of Jock Jams was the cherry on top. If you’re a fan of catchy electronica, definitely check out Ultraviolet Sound’s album, appropriately titled O.C.D (Obsessive Compulsive Dancing). The eleven songs clock in at just under 42 minutes, but if you like what you hear, you’ll definitely be left wanting more. ‘Brainwashed,’ ‘Gimme My Electro,’ and ‘The Thrill Can Kill’ were my favorite tracks.
Since No Doubt was the last band on the Wonka Stage, and I knew I wanted to be in the front, I got the crap beat out of me in the pit through the Hollywood Undead, The Used, and Rise Against.
I don’t really know how to describe the Hollywood Undead. Rap/metal? Rap/Rock? Metal/Rock/Rap? According to the almighty iTunes, they’re considered Rock. I’d never heard of them prior to seeing them live, and I didn’t really hear anything that made me want to track down their discography. They put on a good show, and the crowd seemed to enjoy them. They wore masks for half of their set, which is something I don’t really get. I guess it’s part of their image or persona or whatever.
Next up was The Used. They’re another band I’ve never listened to and don’t really have any desire to get into, but they also put on a great set.
Rise Against was fantastic. Even though I only knew ‘Prayer of the Refugee,’ I really enjoyed their set and have every intention of listening to their other albums. They didn’t play ‘Swing Life Away,’ which was kind of a disappointment, but they put on a great live show.
The final band to take the Wonka Stage was No Doubt. It was completely worth the bludgeoning by crowd surfers to get to the front for No Doubt. Gwen’s ditched her Harajuku, Gothic Lolita look for her acid-wash-bondage-pant-and-tank-top days of yore. It’s good to have old Gwen back. It’s good to have No Doubt back!
After Gwen chatted up the audience, they dove right into their entire singles collection, including a slowed down version of ‘Excuse Me Mr.’ and ‘Different People’ from Tragic Kingdom. They even had a little dance break before their encore, during which they played their new single, ‘Stand and Deliver,’ and closed with ‘Sunday Morning.’ No Doubt owned the crowd through the entire set, and the band looked like they were genuinely having fun on stage with each other. They were positively vivacious, probably due to their five-year hiatus and the fact that Bamboozle was only their second stop on tour.
I had a great time at Bamboozle. It was totally worth being on my feet for 11 hours straight and getting some bruises from wasted crowd surfers and moshers. No Doubt was definitely the highlight for me, but all the bands I saw put on good sets. Tinted Windows…maybe not.
A beefy stew to stew upon… by TNT
While in the crowd for The Bloodhound Gang, one thing needs to be brought to attention. What the hell is up with these dance pits? I was pushed out of the way so a circle could be formed. I thought “oh cool, a mosh pit or a circle pit right here. Maybe I’ll join in.” To my surprise once the area was cleared, a bunch of brightly colored post punk emo dancers (aka today’s teenagers of America) started dancing. DANCING! Straight up dancing! Some were grinding, some were doing their own thing, but whatever they were doing, it looked ridiculous. The only way it could be justified is if you consider The Bloodhound Gang to be a grind-core band, and clearly they are not. The people in that circle were out of place and being laughed at by the surrounding festival goers. The scary part about this little story is that I witnessed these dance pits throughout the festival. I hope this does not become a new trend, so here’s the official memo- dance pits are for losers, learn to mosh or risk being laughed at repeatedly in public. This was the ongoing joke of the festival, “Look out, Mosh pit!” was shouted as a few of us mockingly demonstrated our ‘dance pit’ moves. Maybe it’s the mix of musical genres at the festival, maybe it’s a lame attempt to look cool, maybe it’s so they don’t get hurt, but whatever the reason, it needed to be addressed so it can be stopped abruptly.