The Bouncing Souls w/ The Bronx and Skinny Lister
El Corazón, Seattle, WA

30 years of creating music, touring, and playing punk shows is quite the life. Where so many falter, when you see a band that stands the test of three decades, it’s a beautiful thing. After all of the years on the road, The Bouncing Souls still can bring it to the stage.

Opening the night was UK import Skinny Lister. They unpacked the energy from the start—and did not stop. Combining English dance rock and traditional folk music, Skinny Lister’s brand of rowdy, bucolic rock is a combination of The Pogues and Mumford and Sons. With chaotic accordions, frenetic stand-up bass, and the spirit of Lorna Thomas’ vocals and dancing, it was a party from the first note and a great way to compliment the next band, The Bronx.

When it comes to the Bronx, you have to start with lead singer Matt Caughthran. He came out with a mission, to blow minds. He wore an intense smile before he proclaimed it to be “Stage Dive Monday.” Throughout the set of hardcore punk/metal, willing members of the crowd made their way up to stage right to leap into the arms of the adoring crowd. The driving drums of former Queens of the Stone Age drummer, Joey Castillo, anchored the heavy sound of the rest of the band. Caughthran is an amazing performer. He always made sure the crowd was with him and his high energy. Caughthran connected with the crowd in a deep way and it showed with each stage dive and when joined the crowd for an entire song.

Since 1989, the Bouncing Souls have been—pun intended—bouncing around the American punk scene. Their light-hearted punk is a great compliment to those who don’t prefer the more hardcore sect of the scene. The pure joy on bassist Bryan Kienlen’s face throughout the set was one of the highlights of the night. El Corazon was as packed as I have ever seen it and when they played fan favorite “Lean On Sheena,” I thought the pillars were going to crumble. It was the same way during the encore when they unleashed “The Freaks, Nerds, and Romantics.” Non stop jumping and stomping.

Judging by the passion swirling around the crowd and the community that was built for that three and a half hours, it is the culmination of 30 years of showing up, being present, and rocking the blocks of every venue imaginable. That is pure punk at its finest.

Review and photos by Phillip Johnson

The Bouncing Souls

The Bronx

Skinny Lister