Thursday, 7 May 2009


The first thing that strikes you about Bamboozle is the hilarity of
the situation. The festival takes place in the car park of the Giants
Stadium- yep, the car park, not the stadium. This is typical of US
festivals and doesn't provide the best setting- a wasteland of
concrete and Wonka sweet wrappers (the sweet brand sponsor the
festival and are handing out what seems to be an endless supply of
sweets). The next thing that hits you is the amount of merch vendors
that scatter the site. Each band has their own tent to sell from, but
alongside them are a huge array of rising brands including favourites
such as Atticus, Glamour Kills, Rockett, Kill Brand and To Write Love On Her Arms. All these brands are heavily involved with the bands and
throughout the weekend host signings and meet and greets. It's
something we need to do more in the UK if the cues of kids outside these
stands are anything to go by!

So onto the bands- after a fuck up at the guestlist box office, the
first thing to hit our ears is the metal rumblings of Dr.Acula. A
ridiculous name, but the band pull of great, if not amazing, metal
songs in the vein of August Burns Red or As I Lay Dying. Ones to watch
for sure. Next we swing by to check out our good friends in Set Your
- recently signed to Epitaph, they surpass themselves today.
Tracks from the new album show huge promise and if the insane crowd
that turns out to see them is anything to go by, they are going to be
a band to watch this year! We catch the end of Bayside's set on the
main stage. The band are a far bigger prospect over here than in the
UK, and they go down a storm. After the comedy of The Bloodhound Gang
(guys swallowing each others puke?!
Still can't work if that's the right or wrong side of bad taste!), we
watch New Found Glory spend half an hour showing every one of the
current pop punk pretenders how it's done. Quite simply, this band are
amazing and if you don't like them, you have no ears!

One current band that do rise above the swamp of pop punk wannabes is All Time Low. The band's debut album, So Wrong It's Right, is a instantly loveable album and live they are just as exciting. The excitement that ensues as the band tear into "Dear Maria" is incredible. Next album is going to be amazing for sure. Next up is The Get Up Kids, a band that everyone on this bill owes their careers to! They fly through a set of undeniable classics that leaves everyone over the age of 15 left frothing at the mouth! Brilliant!
Fall Out Boy end the night on a high. There are a lot of people who hate this band, and certainly there are some good arguments to do so (Pete Wentz little pop punk empire is an easy thing to be envious of), but the honest truth is that they have produced four consistent albums chock full of hit songs. With such a strong arsenal of hits they cruise through a closing set leaving punters filing out of the car park with huge grins on their faces.

Sunday see's the weather take a turn for the worst, not that we are going to let this dampen our spirits, as today's bill is equally exciting as yesterday. First up is rising stars Family Force 5. Being honest, I still can't decide if i like or despise this band, they certainly have charisma and are no doubt going to blow up. The jury is out however on if they are a good band. No such indecision for Billy Talent however- these Canadians have two incredible albums under their belt and todays set sees them laying waste to the main stage. Awesome!

We catch a few songs of The Sounds (under appreciated still despite some great tours in the US) on our way to see Hit The Lights. The insanely huge crowd that is waiting for the band is incredible, and their set is equally exciting. It's been a long time coming, but it would appear things are looking good for these guys which is greatly deserved. Sadly we miss the always reliable Silverstein, but we are informed that they played a blinder. Next up are one of the three UK bands on the bill, We Are The Ocean. We're gutted that Enter Shikari are on at the same time, but WATO dispel any upset in seconds as they launch into a truly astounding set. Over here to record their debut album with respected producer Brian McTierman (Thrice), the band are simply incredible, both singers Dan and Liam are stars in their own right. Please check this band out, they are amazing!

Next band of note is the insanely brutal Suicide Silence. This band have to be one of the biggest buzz bands of the festival and rightly so. They are literally a all destroying unit that has to be seen to be believed. The album is great, but make sure you see them live before you judge them. Startlingly good. The same cannot be said for Brokencyde who are (sadly) the other buzz band of the festival. Take a bow guys, you have created a new low in music.

Thankfully, Taking Back Sunday (check out our TBS signed merch giveaway below!!!) are hear to save the day. Four albums in and they are still just as thrilling live as they have ever been.
Picking a set that spans their past three albums and select tracks from their incredible new album, New Again, the play with a new found sense of ease and enjoyment that is brilliantly infectious. It's just great to watch a band who clearly love doing what they do so much.
Adam (singer) then climbs a scary height up the lighting rig for their final song, a feat that leaves the whole audience astounded.

No Doubt have a tough act to follow, but after such a long time away, they hit the spot perfectly. Gwen Stefani is as engaging and brilliant a front person as ever. She leaps around the stage with unending energy as the band tear through a set that sees those songs we all loved many years sounding just as fresh as they did all those years ago. What a perfect end to an incredible weekend. Bamboozle 2009, we salute you!

Courtesy of "Whispering Eye".

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