Archive for the ‘Asbury Park, NJ’ Category

[CANCELLED: June 19, 2020] The Struts / The Glorious Sons / JJ Wilde

indexThe Struts are a young British band who opened for Foo Fighters when we saw them.  But we arrived literally just as the Foos were going onstage. We didn’t see any of The Struts.  Although they did come out and join the Foos later in the set.

Reviews have been pretty great about The Struts, and I’d like to see them.  Although it’s unlikely I would have gone to a Summer Stage show for them, (especially since I was supposed to see Primus tonight)  if they come back around and play somewhere smaller I’d consider going.

The Glorious Sons are a Canadian band who seems to play anthemic “modern rock.”  I’ll bet they are really fun in a big arena.  I’m not sure how well it would translate on a smaller stage, but if the crowd was into it they’d be fun.

JJ Wilde is a Canadian singer songwriter who plays quiet balladish songs with big choruses.  Her voice is pretty powerful, although I feel like her mood is wrong for this tour. (Nevertheless, she has toured with The Glorious Songs before).


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[CANCELLED: May 24, 2020] Trey Anastasio Band

indexI have seen Trey Anastasio once solo at Newport Folk Festival (amazing) and with  the Trey Anastasio Band (super fun).  I didn’t expect him to tour so soon because Phish is playing in Atlantic City this summer.  So it was great to see that he was going to do two shows this summer.

It’s a bummer that this show was cancelled, not to be rescheduled, but this show also wound up conflicting with my friend Armando’s wedding party so technically I wasn’t going to be able to go.  I was trying to trade for a ticket to the Saturday show, but that’s moot now.

TAB cancelled their show pretty early (Mar 24) for a show that was all the way at the end of May, but it was better not to have to wait.  So far, Phish hasn’t cancelled their shows on August 14-16, but we’ll see.

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[POSTPONED: March 17, 2020] Kevin Devine / Petal / Jaded Hart / Pearla

indexThe Asbury Park Music + Film Festival was scheduled for April 23-26.

There was going to be a lot of Music and movies at various locations throughout Asbury Park.

I actually wasn’t interested in the festival, but I was quite interested in seeing Kevin Devine (especially after his Kenny O’Brien St. Patrick’s Day show was cancelled).

Unsurprisingly, the entire Festival has been postponed, with the intention of rescheduling this summer.

Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band was one of my favorite recent shows.  Having seen him with the full band, I was interested to see him solo again (I’ve seen him solo twice).

I have also seen Petal twice before.  The first time she was solo, the second time with a full band.  While I didn’t really need to see her again, she puts on an emotionally charged show and since she and Kevin are mates, I’m sure they would have done something together.

I hadn’t heard of Jaded Hart and when I looked them up, I misspelled the name as Jaded Heart which brought up a German metal band which seemed–incongruous.  Looking up Jaded Hart, though, I can’t find much of anything about them. There’s a musician named Christopher Wilkerson who comes up in the search, but his Jaded Hart is a cover band from the 1990s.  But I’m thinking it’s not that Jaded Hart.

Pearla is a 23 year old singer-songwriter from Brooklyn.  She sings a kind of mildly psychedelic folk pop.

I’m quite curious what the lineup will look like come summer time.


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[POSTPONED: March 17, 2020] Anti-Flag / Grade 2 / Doll Skin

indexMarch was going to be a very busy concert month for me.  This was to be the fourth of four shows in five nights.  This show was going to be for me and my son and his friend T.

I had just recently heard about Anti-Flag, who have been around forever.  I was interested in seeing them and then I heard C playing them on his Spotify account so I asked if he wanted to see them.  He said yes.  They were playing at The Foundry, a tiny place that I really like.  But it turned out to be on a night that we had something else planned.  (That turned out to be incorrect, that event was the week before, so we could have gone to the Foundry).  But on this night they were playing in Asbury Park (about the same distance from my house).  House of Independents is a great venue and is arguably a better venue to see a punk show (it’s much bigger).

He asked if his friend could come and I thought that sounded like a great way to spend a Tuesday night (even if school would be very sleepy he next day).  I even told him that if we really liked the show we could go Thursday night as well–to see them in a venue the size of our living room.

Opening for this show were Grade 2 and Doll Skin who I don’t know.

This turned out to be the fourth of dozens of shows cancelled or postponed by the coronavirus.

Obviously, my main concern is for everyone’s safety, including the bands!

My selfish concern though is that once the shows are rescheduled that all of these shows will be scheduled on the same day!

Let’s hope the rescheduled dates also do some social distancing.


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[ATTENDED: October 21, 2019] Swervedriver

Back in the 1990s, Swervedriver’s “Son of Mustang Ford” was one of my favorite songs.  I consistently put it on mix CDs at the time.  I still love it and it was the thought of hearing Swervedriver play it live that inspired me to check out this show (which I literally just found out about a few days ago).

The show was at Milkboy in Philadelphia.  I had never been to Milkboy before and really didn’t know much about it–except that it was pretty small.  It’s got a capacity of about 200.  The venue is upstairs from a bar, which looked quite nice.

I arrived early because I didn’t have a ticket (the ticket fee was over $8 for a $25 ticket!).  I arrived just after 7:30 and found a parking space right across the street from the venue (and did my worst driver’s side parallel parking job ever).  I actually couldn’t find the place at first and when I did, I wasn’t even sure which was the entrance.  So I wound up going in the wrong entrance and then having to ask where the band was (I could hear them upstairs).

The nice bartender pointed me the way and said they were running late.  It was actually Swervedriver still doing a soundcheck.  And the stairway to the venue was blocked by a chain.  The bartender said it wasn’t near sold out so not to worry about the ticket.

When the soundcheck was done, they opened the doors at a little after 8 and I went upstairs and was the first one in the venue… (!) [So much for an 8PM start time]. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: April 21, 2018] Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

I saw Acid Mothers Temple around this time last year and it was an amazing experience.  It was too loud, too intense, too much…and I couldn’t wait to see them again.

The pictures in this post look terrible for some reason.  The originals were actually quite nice–must be a web compression thing.

Evidently they come around to the Northeast pretty regularly in the spring, so I was super psyched to see them again in the same place.  Then we decided to go on vacation that week instead.  I was bummed to miss them (but psyched for vacation, of course).  Then I saw that they were playing the night before we left in The Saint. I loved The Saint as a venue and knew I would love seeing Acid Mothers Temple there. (more…)

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I had heard of YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN on NPR.  They played a song off of their latest album Dirt and I was stunned by how cool it was.   It was heavy and rocking with prog elements and a chorus that was pure J-Pop.  It was magical.

Then I read a little about them.  From their website:

They’re a “Noh-Wave” prog collective, a black-and-white (and sometimes red) theatre company, an operatic psych cult, and the speculative prophets of humanity’s impending doom.

The new album Dirt:

was conceived as the soundtrack for an unreleased Haudenosaunee and Buddhist themed Anime produced in 1987. Like UZU [their previous disc], it takes place on the planet Pureland, now 10,000 years after the planet has flooded. The surviving people live within bubble domes floating in orbit. A team of mercenaries descends into the drowned wreckage of the world to receive the last sample of uncorrupted soil.

Though the name of their fantastical universe is derived from a strand of Buddhism and Haudenosaunee that first blossomed in China, its narratives are inspired by the Iroquois story of the creation of North America. The members of Yamantaka//Sonic Titan keep the history of indigenous people close to them and their work, even incorporating hand drums and traditional rhythms into songs


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[ATTENDED: March 11, 2019] Pinegrove

Back in 2017, I saw Pinegrove at the hot, sweaty First Unitarian Church.  The buzz around them had hit fever pitch and the crowd was insane.  In fact the whole night was a crazy sweatbox.  I couldn’t see very much so I was excited to get tickets for two more shows near the end of 2017.  Then their scandal broke and they cancelled their shows.

They have come back out of hiding for a few shows around the neighborhood.  I couldn’t get tickets to their very first shows.  Then came this trio of shows in Asbury Park.  I had actually somehow scored a ticket to Saturday night’s initial only show before realizing that we were going to Aurora that night.  I didn’t see that they’d added a show on Sunday until it was sold out.  But when they added a Monday show, I was there and managed to get a ticket.

Conventional wisdom says that the final show is always the best one.  I’m not sure if that’s true since former Pinegrove vocalist and full time Half Waif vocalist Nandi Rose Plunkett joined them on stage for a song on the first night.  But newly shorn Evan Stephens Hall (he went from shoulder length to buzzcut) promised that since it was the last night of their tour, they would be loose but still tight.  And that seems pretty apt. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: March 11, 2019] Poppies

I was supposed to see Pinegrove twice at the end of 2017.  Then their scandal broke and they cancelled their shows.  They have come back out of hiding for a few shows around the neighborhood.  I couldn’t get tickets to their very first shows.  Then came this trio of shows in Asbury Park.  I had actually somehow scored a ticket to Saturday night’s show before realizing that we were going to Aurora that night.  I didn’t see that they’d added a show on Sunday until it was sold out.  But when they added a Monday show, I was there and managed to get a ticket.

Poppies opened all three nights.

They are a four piece with May on lead vocals (primarily) and guitar and Ian on lead guitar and some lead vocals.  The thing that stood out for me about them was their utterly deadpan demeanor onstage.  In between songs the banter was nonexistent or really really dry.  “Hi, we’re Poppies.”  “This is a new song.”

They play a fascinatingly diverse style(s) of music.  Some of their songs were quiet with gentle guitars and May’s quieter vocals.  But some of the songs totally rocked out with some of Ian’s wilder guitar noises.  Some songs did both.

The set opened with a slightly discordant guitar and May’s whispered vocals.  I liked that she had on a blazer for the opening (and wide weft cords!) and then revealed her bright yellow shirt a few songs in.

I was concerned that an opening set of this kind of music would be rather tedious.  But then they opened it up with some good rocking guitar and May’s louder vocals. I especially loved the noises that Ian made on his guitar in the beginning of this song.

My favorite song of their set came as either the last or second to last of the night.  May said that  these next few songs were so new they didn’t have names yet.  They were the most enjoyable of the bunch to me.

That bodes well for future releases from them.


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[ATTENDED: March 11, 2019] Trace Mountains

Pinegrove played three nights at House of Independents.  Each night featured Poppies opening and then a second band in the middle slot.  Saturday was Another Michael, Sunday was Brother Bird and Monday was Trace Mountains.  Interestingly, I was supposed to see Brother Bird open for Lily & Madeleine a few weeks earlier, so I have now missed Brother Bird twice.

I hadn’t heard any of them, so that didn’t have any impact on which night I wanted to go.  Originally it would have been Another Michael.  But since I switched dates to Monday, I got to see Trace Mountains.

I also had no idea that I had recently seen the lead singer and guitarist of Trace Mountains, for he is Dave Benton of LVL UP.  I was trying to remember whose songs I liked best when I saw LVL UP.  All three singers sang and I enjoyed Benton’s more deadpan style of singing.  It’s interesting that Trace Mountains was supposed to be a somewhat quieter side project and yet in my experience all of these songs were more rocking than his LVL UP songs.

Trace Mountains is (was?) his solo project.  For this show the band was a four piece with a great lead guitarist and a solid rhythm section.

I can’t find the names of any of the players, but I really enjoyed the guitarist in the ocher cardigan who stood in front of me.  He also plays keys.  At one point he and Benton shares soloing duties which sounded pretty great.

Indeed, all of the songs were enjoyable.  And there was a good variety in the songs.  I didn’t catch song title, but while there were some real Stomping cuts they also changed up their delivery style with slower rockers like this one. I was also intrigued by Benton’s voice, because it sounded quite different depending on the song.  And yet it never sounded quite as deadpan as he did with LVL UP.

Benton was an entertaining frontman as well.  He joked (or maybe not) that he was happy to be there except that he was missing The Bachelor.  There was also a funny moment in the middle of their set when someone started chanting “one more song” like they do for encores.  But mid-set it came across as very funny and Benton was certainly in on the joke, “Sorry to disappoint you….”

I enjoyed their set quite a bit.

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