Posted by: pop-break | May 25, 2012

Pop-Break Live: The Bamboozle, Day Three

lauren stern and joe zorzi look at the closing of the festival…

Ten years ago, a three day festival in Asbury Park, N.J., known as The Bamboozle festival was born. In 2006, the event moved over to the Meadowlands and took place there for four years. This year, the festival moved back to Asbury Park, which is now the rumored location for next year and possibly for the rest of it’s existence.

Over the last ten years, Bamboozle has turned into a huge festival, hosting a plethora of bands on it’s stages including Taking Back Sunday, Linkin Park, Saves the Day, My Chemical Romance, Snoop Dogg, and more. This past Sunday, May 20, I attended my first Bamboozle in three years and my first Bamboozle in Asbury Park. These are the bands that I saw in order and my thoughts on each of their performances. –Lauren Stern

Bayside:

Seeing Bayside for the first time was a great start to a fantastic day. After being a fan for so long, it’s surprising that I never saw them perform live but I’m happy I got the chance to on Sunday. Bayside is such a great group of guys and their last album Killing Time was absolutely fantastic. I wish they had a longer set, but I’m hoping to catch them again when they play Warped Tour this summer!

The Gaslight Anthem:

The Gaslight Anthem were the main reason I wanted to go on Sunday more than any other day of the festival. For the last few years, I’ve been dying to see them live but never got the chance to until Sunday. Overall, they put on an AMAZING performance and seeing them live was my favorite part of the entire day.

However, I was slightly disappointed in the song choices. I would have loved to see more from their last album American Slang. Don’t get me wrong, the did a great job performing a lot of their older tracks, but it would have been nice to hear more from that album in a live setting.

I am so glad I finally got the opportunity see them live for the first time. I’m looking forward to hearing their new album, which according to singer, Brian Fallon is supposed to release sometime soon. I also hope I get the chance to see them perform live again this year. I’m still crossing my fingers for a New Jersey date on their upcoming tour with Rise Against!

Brand New:

I have to admit I was a little skeptical about seeing Brand New again, especially in a Bamboozle setting. The last time I saw Brand New it was when they performed at the last Bamboozle festival in 2007 and they didn’t exactly put on the best performance. I later found out this stemmed from anger at the Bamboozle Festival for scheduling their set at noon. I totally understand why they were upset, however I was excited to see them and was disappointed in their performance. It’s unfortunate that this experience has caused some hesitation about seeing Brand New live over the last few years, however I totally regret this more than anything. I love Brand New and I will always love Brand New so I’m really glad I was able to give them a second chance on Sunday.

Brand New’s set was everything I expected it to be in terms of song choice. The band played nothing off of Your Favorite Weapon and a mix of songs off of their last three albums Daisy, The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me, and Deja Entendu. I was totally fine with this because they played all of my favorites off of these albums. I loved hearing “Okay, I Believe You But my Tommy Gun Don’t,” “Sink,” “Degausser,” and “Millstone.” Those are some of the best Brand New tracks in my opinion. I’m not one of those Brand New elitists that strictly loves a certain album, so I was very pleased with both their set-list and performance. I definitely will be attending more Brand New shows in the future.

Bon Jovi:

In the days before Bamboozle, I was debating on whether or not to stay for Bon Jovi. But then I thought to myself, when am I ever going to get the chance(or the money) see a live performance from Bon Jovi? So I decided to stick around for his big headlining performance and I’m really happy I did.

I have to admit that I didn’t stay for all of his set but I did enjoy what I was present for. I was happy I didn’t miss the songs I knew and even heard some songs I was unfamiliar with. I now have a greater appreciation for his music and I hope that the people my age that stuck around now have a greater appreciation for him too.

I went to Bamboozle on Sunday not knowing what to expect. I haven’t went in about two or three years and I wasn’t sure how it’d work back in Asbury.

I was pleasantly surprised. The set up was great and it really seemed to help out local businesses. The only real problem was the volume of the main stage. You could hear it throughout most of the festival grounds and it was a bit distracting if you were watching a band on a smaller stage.

The Story So Far

I wasn’t interested in any of the first bands that were playing so I wandered over to the Beach Party Stage for a few songs in DJ Toro’s set. It was pretty much an average mix of club bangers. Half the crowd was into it, the other half was kind of awkwardly standing there. It didn’t seem like the right place or time for the set. I decided it was time to hit up the Ferris wheel.

I saw half of The Story So Far’s set from there, which was pretty cool. I made my way to the pit for the rest of their songs, and it was truly exciting. I’m used to hearing their brand of pop punk played in VFWs, but they had a pretty big sized crowd. It was really raw and energetic and it almost felt like we were back in ’04. I haven’t been that pumped on a new pop punk band in a while. They played all three days of Bamboozle and were getting a lot of recognition. I overheard a lot of kids saying they were a newly converted fan.

After TSSF, I hit the Coke truck for some free drinks. I heard some of Folly from there. I know they’ve got a huge underground following in Jersey, and people may hate me for saying this but I was not a fan. Blending hardcore and ska just isn’t my thing. They left the stage and Bayside was up next. They were great, as expected.

A bit later I saw the Gaslight Anthem on the main stage. I loved seeing them play to such a big crowd. They’re awesome live, but the bass was overbearingly loud compared to the other instruments. All day there were rumors that The Boss would be taking the stage with them, but he didn’t show up sadly.

After Gaslight was one of my favorite bands, Brand New. Their set was loud and heartfelt as expected. Jesse Lacey even managed to talk to us a bit and you could tell they were grateful for the large crowd. It made up for their last Bamboozle performance when they were given a noon set time (Jesse made a jab at them this time around). Their set was heavy on The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me and Daisy and it was super intense. During their last song, “You Won’t Know”, Vin (Accardi, guitar) threw his guitar into the air and let it crash into the stage. He picked it up, attacked the drum set with it, and then started playing percussion along with the Brian (Lane, drums). The song continued during all of this and Jesse joined in the destruction by throwing his guitar into the amps. Half the gear was trashed as Jesse poured his heart out singing the last refrain. It was incredible.

Bon Jovi ended the night, making it the most awkward lineup of all time. My friends and I planned on leaving after the first hit, but we couldn’t get enough. We ended up staying for half the set. Jamming out to “It’s My Life” was the best part of the entire day.

The crowd at the main stage was a funny sight. It was a mix between moms who’ve been waiting all day to see Bon Jovi and Brand New’s crazy fans. It was obvious that everyone had different expectations of crowd etiquette and I felt bad for the families who were not used to the lack of breathing space during shows. There was even a group that set out a blanket in the middle of the crowd. Needless to say, that didn’t last long.

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