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Bowling for Soup 

8 p.m. Thursday, June 29. Mississippi Nights (914 North First Street)

Long before Fall Out Boy chose a path of pop-culture plugs — and even before Fountains of Wayne reported that Stacy's mom did, indeed, have it going on — Bowling for Soup were the premier power-punk pundits. Savants of self-deprecation and slick riffs, these Texans know that musical diversity is not their game. But nor should it be: Their catchy, stomp-along anthems ("1985," "Girl All the Bad Guys Want") entertain and energize, thus propelling their audiences into the Souposphere. Jaret Reddick's bright whine complements the cranking guitars of Soup's ska-tinged power-pop, while the hyper-charisma of the band's live show has a magnetic pull on even the staunchest of shoegazers. After all, it's nearly impossible to dislike a group of guys who beseech a runaway girlfriend to move back to Texas because "....the Mexican food sucks north of here anyway." In a musical realm where My Chemical Romance and Dashboard Confessional take themselves so damn seriously, Bowling for Soup's tongue-in-cheek assertion that "all we need is ice cream and a hug" begs the idea that all we really need is Bowling for Soup.

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