Having to take the stage at 7pm to play to a barely half-full venue is a somewhat daunting task, but Tat don’t seem particularly bothered. On record, the trio’s early Green Day-isms are nothing particularly remarkable, but in the live setting, the likes of ‘Champagne, Cocaine and Strawberries‘ become endearingly ragged around the edges; with a chorus of fans singing along down at the front.
However, it takes Floridian quartet The Draft to really get this show started. The band’s ‘In A Million Pieces‘ debut was a relatively unsung highlight of 2006, and tonight the anthemic chorus and raw honesty of opener ‘New Eyes Open‘ sets the tone for their whole set; with frontman Chris Wollard visibly delighted at the mass of raised fists in the pit. Hot Water Music’s split was a great shame, but The Draft are continuing their legacy in ultra-fine style.
There’s never much in the way of surprises at a Bouncing Souls show; the band seemingly having settled into their anthemic punk rock niche a long time ago. That said, last year’s ‘The Gold Record‘ album was their best effort in several years, and hence both new tracks and old standards like ‘Hopeless Romantic’ and ‘East Coast! Fuck You!‘ sparkle with a seemingly new-found vigour tonight.
Sure, singer Greg Attonito may not be quite as animated as you’d like, and the band may not be particularly talkative either, but it’s hard not to smile as they rip through song after song with all the energy of the Ramones in their prime. Joey and da bruddas would surely have approved.