Bouncing Soles for the Bouncing Souls

Whenever a concert approaches, I’ll admit it…I go into “concert fashion mode.” Much like the girly teenage girl choosing what to wear for a normal school day, I sift through my closet, praying it won’t be a “fat day.” But I was never that fashionable girl. I was the girl whose mother once inquired, “Are you still gonna wear those concert tees when you’re a woman?”

The truth is, I never thought I made much of a lady, nor did I care. I was quite content with rock tees and ripped-out knee jeans. Now that I am an adult I realize that it’s natural to “grow up” but you have to keep celebrating the things that keep you happy, and in turn, young at heart. Music, for me, will always do this. And music should always be celebrated. As a result, certain fashions will automatically bring you to the element. For example, corduroy and my Docs always put me there. I might be braving the snow but in my head I’m imagining Eddie cruising across the stage in his boots.

Does everyone think that combat boots are sexy with a knee-length, frilly black skirt? Probably not, but I do. In fact, I feel sexier in these than I would cashmere sweaters (and yes, I did just hear the song in my head. Do you hear the guitar riffs? Thanks, Jimmy Page) or heels. Heels and I don’t really get along. It’s like a giraffe on stilts, really. Damn my eternal clumsiness.

Somewhere in the reserves of my mind, I remembered that my long-desired-for 20-eyelet, charcoal black Dr. Martens sport the motto: “with bouncing soles.” I smile at the irony of wearing them to a Bouncing Souls show (this Friday in Jermyn, PA).

And, as expected, rather than dote on fashion, I’d favor talking about music. When was the first time you heard the Bouncing Souls? I had a college roommate, heavily into punk, who introduced me. (Thanks, Coll!) We’d swing our hips to the vacuum on a hungover Saturday afternoon, not well enough to jump and shout “Ole”, but okay enough to sway to the lilting chorus of “Fight to Live.” What a great song that is, and I hope they play it. It would be a fantastic opener! Check out the lyrics:

“Tonight we’re alone and the music is right tonight
do you feel good do you feel alright tonight?
i’m out on the streets tonight
i’m with a few friends so it feels alright
shoutin out loud to the song doesn’t do it
they say to sing and i say screw it
same old places, not much to dream about
is there anything left to fight about?
fight to live is the only fight i’ve got left to live
hey hey (x3)
well i’ve never been the same since that first show
i closed my eyes and let myself go
to a place where i’m never alone or scared
somehow i had a reason to care
i’d get so lost in it (x4)
live to fight, fight to live (x2)
tonight we’re alone and the music is right tonight
do you feel good do you feel alright tonight? (x2)
i’m on the train and i got my headphones
people all around, but i’m good all alone
i won’t worry where i need to be
wherever i am, that’s the place to be
go go
(wherever i am that’s the place to be)
go go (x3)
tonight we’re alone and the music is right tonight
do you feel good do you feel alright tonight (x2)
we feel good we feel alright tonight.”

Or, better yet, check out the song:

On a more recent note, about a year ago, my (conservative) colleague’s phone rang with the chorus to “Ole.” My eyes got big and I went into-full-excited-about-music mode. “Wow! You have a Bouncing Souls ringtone!” She gave me a puzzled look.

“They play this at the Penguins games.”

“Yeah, it’s the Bouncing Souls! (losing some excitement)”


Why is it so hard to find people as energized about music as I am? I grew up in a household where Mom would sing to the vacuum attachment or twirl me in the grocery store aisle. I wouldn’t have it anyway. Bounce on, musical soul. Going to the Bouncing Souls in my bouncing soles. It’s okay to grow up but you should never forsake the styles and things that make you feel truly alive.

Be well and bounce on,


P.S. Speaking of fashion, tell me this song doesn’t make you smile, even if only a little:

(It kinda makes me want some cherry red Docs.)


3 thoughts on “Bouncing Soles for the Bouncing Souls

  1. This is a good post, Rachael.

    I still love going to punk rock shows and busting out my old Hot Water Music hoodie, or old Against Me! or Bouncing Souls shirts. Once I started teaching, I retired those clothes for khakis or sweaters mostly, but I still break them out for shows.

    As for the Bouncing Souls, I first heard them back in high school, and they were just a staple band at the time, much like Bad Religion, NOFX, Screecing Weasel, and their other contemporaries. They were a gateway band for me to a lot of other bands.

    Out of all those bands, though, the Souls are still a band I listen to frequently, and a band I’ve seen probably close to 10 or so times at this point. I miss the days when I lived in the Philly area and would constantly catch their NJ and Philly shows. But I often still make the drive to see them in Philly or Asbury Park. But I’m happy they’re playing here Friday!

  2. Colleen says:

    Thanks for the shout-out! Oh, how I miss those days.
    BTW, this is a great post; I know exactly what you mean.

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