The 2012 edition of The Bamboozle—the weekend-long festival of complete and utter overstimulation in the name of music and carnival rides—will take place May 18 through 20, and instead of being held in the parking lot of the Meadowlands’ football stadium, as it has been for the past couple of years, it’ll move back to the seaside town where it all began: Asbury Park, New Jersey. So far only the headliners for the festival have been announced: Bon Jovi, blink-182, and Foo Fighters will top the bill next May, although you can probably expect that triptych of guitar-based acts to get filled out by hip-hop, comedy, and things that have exactly zero to do with music but that are fun to watch in between bands and ferris-wheel rides. Also, lots of merch booths for bands and “lifestyle brands” that make shirts with somewhat transgressive slogans. (I wonder if I have time to get those “Fuck Fuck” t-shirts printed up?)
That Bon Jovi, the standard-bearers of ever-grinning ’80s arena rock, is co-headlining a bill with an ex-member of Nirvana and a snotty-nosed punk trio seems odd on first glance. Then again, as I was reminded when reading my recaps of earlier installments, the Bamboozle is all about smooshing together the nostalgic and the now into a sort of giant igneous rock of, er, rock—a couple of years ago I saw Third Eye Blind, a quite-convincing Journey cover band, Gwar, and Folie A Deux-era Fall Out Boy in the span of a few hours, and last May’s fest had sets by the Sunset Strip vets Mötley Crüe and the nu-grunge lifers Fuel and the Insane Clown Posse, not to mention the Gaslight Anthem and New Found Glory playing with Marky Ramone. Perhaps the move back into deeper Jersey and Bon Jovi’s involvement means that one day will have a stage devoted to other hard-rock bands with Jersey roots? Trixter, I’m looking at you.