Material: Spruce Bringsteen is a Sheboygan, WI pop-punk band. Their set consists mostly of songs from the band’s previous four EPs, as well as previously unreleased songs, including “Coming for Me,” a song about being abducted by aliens. Their music is reminiscent of '90s pop-punk before it was polluted by the mainstream and became cliché and politically correct.
Musicianship: Three talented musicians, Spruce Bringsteen’s style of pop-punk demands rapid chord changes, sudden key shifts, breaks and breakdowns, and the band was extremely tight and nailed all of it. While everyone in the band sings along on anthem- like choruses and backing vocals, bassist Eric sings lead on most songs. He has a good, strong voice that is well-suited to the band’s type of music. Along with Jon on drums, he provides a strong foundation with his running bass lines for Benj’s fast and quirky rhythm/ lead guitar stylings.
Performance: Opening for Parasites, who are on tour, Spruce Bringsteen started off their set with a high-energy singalong song, “Beer Can Beach.” During the catchy, “Heat It Up,” the band seemed like they were warmed up and having fun. “B.U.D.L.I.G.H.T. Lime” was funny and short and ran non-stop into “Pizza Song.” An enthusiastic crowd began to grow.
The band had humorous stage banter in between songs. Then they went back into their set with the slightly slower, “Jack-O-Matic.” They brought things up again with “Expect The Worst (From Kjell)” and got the crowd dancing with “Ollie Queen.”
Benj announced from the stage, “This song is about spiders. If you like spiders, you suck!” as the trio broke into the silly, hilarious tune, “Fuck Spiders.” They followed it up with the Ramones-esque, “God Bless Destruction,” with its infectious chorus. The set closed with “Degenerated,” as performed in the movie, Airheads, by the fictional band The Lone Rangers (originally by Reagan Youth). It was a fun and fitting ending to their lively set.
Summary: Spruce Bringsteen are entertaining to watch. Their dialogue between band members and exchange with the audience is amusing. These players seem comfortable on stage and have great songs. Although the band began as a joke, they are serious fun!
The Players: Eric, vocals, bass; Jon, vocals, drums; Benj, vocals, guitar.
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