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Bamboozle Festival 2012 (review, video)

Bamboozle 2012 logo

By: Terrance Pryor

This year's Bamboozle returned to where it all began this past weekend. A ton of acts ranging from stadium headliners to up-and-comers graced Asbury Park's North Beach for three days of music and fun. I had the opportunity to cover the event and saw a great amount of amazing talent. Whether you were at the Temple of Boozle rocking out to some great EDM artists or hanging out by the massive main stage across the boardwalk, the 10 year anniversary of The Bamboozle Festival will go down as one of the most rockin' events that NJ has ever seen.


Friday May 18th

Mike Posner - Electro-pop singer Mike Posner wowed the crowd and had the ladies screaming as he kicked off the main stage on Friday. Whether it was having the whole crowd two-stepping during the track "Do You Wanna" or surprising a fan on stage with gifts for the track "Bow Chicka Wow Wow", Posner made sure that he left the audience wanting more. He's set to release his new album Sky High this summer.

The Story So Far - If you're a fan of pop-punk and have never heard of The Story So Far, I pity you. The group performed all three days of the Bamboozle Festival and I managed to catch them for their Friday performance. An insane amount of beach balls floated through the sky as The Story So Far dished out a spectacular set for their fans. The band even performed "Placeholder" for the first time ever live. Expect to hear more from this talented group in the future.

The Receiving End of Sirens - TREOS were greeted with a great reception during their Bamboozle performance. The last time the Massachusetts band performed at the festival was in 2008 right around the time of their breakup. The band performed a grand set full of fan favorites including 'Planning A Prison Break" and 'This Armistice". The band even brought out a string section for the last few songs.

Armor For Sleep - Even with some technical difficulties, Armor For Sleep nailed it at their Bamboozle performance. The band played a set filled with songs from fan favorite albums Dream To Make Believe and What To Do When You Are Dead. If you missed their performance, don't fret. The band is set to perform at Irving Plaza this July.

Skrillex - Dubstep DJ Skrillex dazzled the crowd as he turned North Beach into the biggest dance party on the East Coast. While there were some haters present, they quickly became intrigued as they couldn't believe exactly what they were witnessing. A five minute countdown was shown on the big screen which fueled the crowd's anticipation. When the countdown struck to 0, Skrillex (onboard a wild spaceship platform) kicked the evening into hyperdrive. Smoke and lasers filled the night sky as Sonny Moore dished out a set that kept people moving even after his set was over.




Saturday May 19th

This Good Robot - The Good Robot, winners of the Break Contest competition, had the grand task of opening the main stage on Saturday. The band, featuring original Patent Pending vocalist Mike Ragosta, got the crowd fired up for the day's festivities.

Motion City Soundtrack - MCS is probably the first band to perform twice in one day at the Bamboozle Festival. I caught the Minneapolis group at their first performance and they certainly kept their fans happy with a tight set. The band will release their new album Go in June.

Close Your Eyes - CYE hit a huge bump in the road when vocalist Shane Raymond left the band back in March. The Texas hardcore band enlisted Mikey Sawyer to take the role of new vocalist. This was his first show with the band so some there were obviously some mistakes to be made. Given some time, Mikey will surely feel right at home. And extra points for guitarist Brett Callaway dedicating "Friends Are Friends Forever" to me.

My Chemical Romance - When fans heard that My Chemical Romance were replacing Blink-182 at this year's festival, a huge line was drawn about whether or not they were a fitting replacement. Either way you saw it, you knew one thing: My Chemical Romance came to rock the beach. The band performed a 45 minute set full of fan favorites (although I do wish they would play more Bullets material).

Datsik - Dubstep DJ Datsik has been gaining an insane amount of buzz following his recent performances at Coachella and tour with nu-metal gurus Korn. A technical malfunction at the start of his set didn't stop him from pulverizing The Temple of Boozle with some of the grimiest dubstep to come from Canada.

Foo Fighters - Whether or not the band ever got a chance to actually fight foo in their 18 year history, Dave Grohl and Co. set the main stage on fire with 2 hours of rock and roll goodness at one of their last U.S. shows for the year. Grohl managed to poke fun at a fan who held up a pack of Mentos for the vocalist to see. The highlight of the set was watching a 5 minute jam session in the middle of "Monkey Wrench". Grohl jammed on his guitar while working his way across the barricades just to end up on his back still strumming away.




Sunday May 20th

Brothers of Brazil - Brothers of Brazil were not featured on the official lineup of The Bamboozle Festival. So who the hell are they? The Brothers of Brazil are actually a pretty famous band in their native country of, you guessed it, Brazil. Everyone who was at the Zumiez stage around 1:30pm to get a front row spot was treated to this odd Brazilian duo.

Folly - NJ group Folly made security really hate their jobs for 30 minutes as an immense amount of crowdsurfers came forth during the band's top notch set. Vocalist Jon Tummillo announced that there will be more Folly shows in the summer so be on the lookout for that.

Action Item - AI are no strangers to the Bamboozle Festival. The NJ pop rock band decided to add something new to the mix for this year's set. The band recruited the West Essex marching band to accompany them for the performance of their new single "Marching Band". Screaming girls (and their obviously quiet boyfriends) are what awaited the band for their set. A.I. will have a new album coming out this summer and will certainly try to be the first band to tour all nine planets of the solar system.

The Gaslight Anthem - For the record, The Gaslight Anthem were indeed Linc's Special Guest for this year's Bamboozle Festival. Unfortunately, things can't stay quiet for too long & the festival had to formally announce the news when it leaked. The band played a rockin set which included their latest song "45". Vocalist Brian Fallon poked fun at a billboard he saw promoting the event saying that it would take 4 days for Bon Jovi to perform all of his hits. The Gaslight Anthem will release their highly anticipated new album Handwritten this summer.

Brand New - While all of the parents were at the Bamboozle for Bon Jovi, their kids were there for Brand New. Some parents in the crowd mocked the LI band but quickly learned about how dedicated the band's fanbase really is. Jesse dedicated the song "Degausser" to those that saw them at the festival in 2007 (no, they didn't play it twice this year). During "Jesus Christ", Jesse mistakenly opened the song with the second verse but that didn't stop fans from singing along anyway. The Brand New frontman must have seen Foo Fighters perform the night before as he laid on the stage for the opening chords of "Sowing Season". For the finale "You Won't Know", things got intense as Vinnie threw his guitar through Brian's drumkit. Pieces of the drumkit were thrown on stage while Jesse chucked his guitar at the amps making their Bamboozle performance one to remember.

Bon Jovi - Plenty of people were up in arms about Bon Jovi's appearance at the Bamboozle Festival. Some said that he's too old for the younger generation or that the festival was slacking in regards to finding a headliner. I'm pretty sure that the Red Bank native didn't get the memo about any of the complaints as he showed Asbury Park why he is still one of the top performers after 30 years. If you didn't find yourself singing along to the chorus of 'Livin' On A Prayer" then you had some serious explaining to do. Bon Jovi also announced that the new album will be released before the year is out.