• Street Dogs at Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park, NJ – December 10, 2011, with Jukebox Romantics, Murder The Stout and Off With Their Heads

    For the seventh year in a row now, Boston’s Street Dogs, lead by former Dropkick Murphy’s frontman Mike McColgan (and now having far surpassed that band in terms of importance and ability) have headlined the ‘Wreck The Halls Tour’ along the east coast of these United States. Supporting acts for the December 10th, 2011 show at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, New Jersey included Long Island’s own The Jukebox Romantics, a celt punk band from Texas lead by a Scotsman called Murder The Stout, and punk act Off With Their Heads.

    Never having been to a punk show at a bowling alley before, it remained to be seen just how this was going to work but it turned out to be an absolute blast. The staff at Asbury Lanes are friendly and accommodating and the beer is priced very reasonably. In between acts a DJ spins good music and there’s plenty of seating towards the back for those who don’t want to stand up all night. The acoustics, too, were far better than you’d expect them to be at a bowling alley and the show last night was ‘all ages’ friendly so it lead to an interesting mix of multi-generational types all out to have a good time.

    So yeah, the Jukebox Romantics played first and while the place was still filling up, they delivered a solid set of up tempo punk rock. These guys play around here a lot and always deliver a good show, last night’s set being no exception and it was cool to hear them work a Face To Face cover into the set.

    They were followed up Murder The Stout, who share members with the Street Dogs (so if you see some familiar faces in these shots show up later, that’s why - and even those who aren't members of Street Dogs wound up on stage at one point during their later set!). There are a lot of shitty bands out there that try to ape The Pogues sound and few of them do it well but these guys just nailed it and put their own twist on things as well. With seven guys up on stage all that the same time it looked a bit crowded up there but frontman Hugh Morrison, who is also a mean squeezebox player, got the crowd into things very quickly. These guys have a lot of energy and it was pretty infectious.

    Off With Their Heads filled the next slot, and although they sounded great and the audience was definitely very into them, I was running around getting beers and hitting the merch table during their set and can’t really give them a fair right up. That’s why there are only a few pictures. Sorry guys.

    Everyone was stoked when the Street Dogs came out last to the sounds of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ain’t No Grave’ playing behind them. A quick instrumental bit from the new album gave them time to get into position and from there they just barreled through a great set. McColgan really works the crowd any time they play and last night he was in fine form and while security understandably kept people off the stage there was no shortage of rowdiness going on. They worked a cover of ‘Redemption Song’ into the set (dedicating it, not surprisingly, to Joe Strummer) and also covered The Clash’s ‘Guns of Brixton’ and The Pogues’ ‘Dirty Old Town’ before the night was over. A nice tribute to Asbury Park’s own Bouncing Souls found its way into the encore as well. All in all a great night with four awesome bands at a very cool venue – time and money well spent, here’s hoping next year’s tour is just as good, though it’ll be hard to top.

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Alison Jane's Avatar
      Alison Jane -
      It really was a fun show and they sounded really good.
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Looks like a good time. :-)
    1. Nolando's Avatar
      Nolando -
      Off With Their Heads' newest album, In Desolation, was one of the best to come out this year, IMO. Looks like that was an awesome show, too!
    1. Alison Jane's Avatar
      Alison Jane -
      The least impressive band of the night.