The tour in Australia was awesome. In addition to all our old friends there, we met a kid named Rohan who was hardcore. He had just sold his car to fund a roadtrip, following our tour across Australia (flights and overnight drives included). This is his account:
"Finally, after a very, very long wait, the Souls were in Brisbane. I had watched the band with an air of surrealism in Sydney. I had watched them sing happy birthday to me in Blacktown. I had watched them blow the roof off the Corner Hotel in Melbourne and turn up off their game and sick as dogs to rock for the Œkids¹ the next day. And finally, I had watched them kick arse on the Gold Coast. But the feeling of walking into a venue I had visited since I was 15, to watch a truly amazing band rock out one more timeŠI was at peace. We all know there is absolutely nothing like a hometown show.
As was the case in many of the cities I had visited, judging from the crowd you could tell quite a few of them new the Souls only by name and had in fact forked out the majority of their 27 odd bucks to see Frenzal RhombŠand fair enough. But just like every other show on the tour that was all about to change. Bryan whips into the baseline of Apartment 5F, Greg sprints on stage, throws the microphone to arms length, and it all starts againŠ
Just as Pete had promised the second night of the tour every set was different. The staples were all there K8, Hopeless Romantic, Say Anything, That Song and a personal highlight Lamar Vannoy (for the first time on tour). The oi¹s rang out for Manthem, bodies were moving for Fight to Live and the choir was in full voice for True Believers. The band broke out their Hey Ya cover in the middle of Headlights Ditch and the Brisbane crowd got the joke and danced along. Judging from the response to the new numbers Sing Along Forever and Kids and Heroes there seemed to be some truth in the story I had been told that these songs had received a lot of airtime on independent radio before the tour. People love them, and why not.
All night you could see the uninitiated drawn to the pure energy of each and every song while the Souls fans simply enjoyed what they new was there all along. Like I am sure is the same around the world when this band plays, the crowd was a mass of sweat, fists, and smiles from beginning to end.
Before they finish with Gone, just as he had every night of the tour before they closed with this song, Greg explains how it is about an appreciation of how important music is, how it can change your life and how thankful they are for music providing them with the life they lead. When Greg speaks about this meaning, and when the band plays the song, you can see the truth in his words. It¹s not corrupted or tainted like ³Australia rocks I¹m so glad to be here whooo!² It¹s an honest explanation why this band feels so lucky to be given the opportunity to play for people on the other side of the world. Tonight it really sunk in why they closed with this song for the majority of the tour, and I enjoyed it more than any other night.
After the set I had a lot of friends come up to me and comment on what an awesome set they had just seen. Friends who knew of the band and knew a couple of songs but you wouldn¹t really call Œfans¹ just kept coming up to me and explaining how much fun they had just had. A good mate of mine who has abandoned a lot of the bands we listened to as kids and is now firmly entrenched in what I guess you would call Œart rock¹, came to me and said how great it was to see a band who weren¹t ³a bunch of posers trying to fit a scene.² A band that played with such honesty, purity and apparent love for their music that he said he enjoyed it as much as any other show he had ever seenŠ and that meant something.
It proves you don¹t have to be a fan and know the words to each song to enjoy the Bouncing Souls. I watched people rock up to see them play all along the east coast and let¹s face it, because they were in fact the Œsupport band¹ for the tour a lot of people weren¹t specifically there to see them. But as the punters walked away each night you could just tell they left with the same type of inspiration my friend had confided in me. But I guess that is just the kind of effect this band has on people.
For me this tour was worth every kilometre travelled, every dollar spent, and every brain cell murdered with Œliquid persuasion¹ to see this amazing band rip each city a new punk rock arsehole night after night. Every time an ignorant wretch asked me ³Why are you doing all this to go and see the same band play the same songs?² I smiled and thought of a quote from the one and only Bryan ŒPapillon¹ Kienlen that epitomizes what it is like to be at a Bouncing Souls show.
'Music is infinite and you never really reach a ceiling or a pinnacle because you¹re always learning so it never gets old and it never gets boring and shows never get old or boring either because every night is newŠ a new chance to create that energy and enjoy it with a new group of people. It¹s the best way to fuckin live.'