Archive for the ‘The Stone Pony’ Category

[DIDN’T ATTEND: February 26, 2022] Lucy Dacus / Indigo De Souza

I saw Lucy Dacus play back in October.  I didn’t plan to go to this show because I had just seen her.  I was supposed to see Indigo De Souza, but her show was postponed.

Then I looked into this show to see if there were still tickets available, but it was sold out.  No big deal.

Lucy threw out her back a few weeks ago and has been performing while lying on a couch. That would be pretty fun to see. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 10, 2021] Almost Queen

S.’s co-workers invited her to see Almost Queen with them late in June.  She agreed, thinking it would be a fun night out.  As September approached, she realized that the friends had a slightly different plan for the evening than she did, and realized that she couldn’t ride down with them.  So she asked me to come along.

I was game, of course.  I have never intentionally paid to see a tribute band before.  But since this was a band that I would never be able to see live (Queen last played in New jersey in 1982–although the version with Adam Lambert had played here more recently), I said why not.

I was intrigued that a cover band had two opening acts, also cover bands: Philadelphia Freedom, The Elton John Tribute and The Unforgettable Fire: The U2 Tribute.

However, the combination of Friday night plans and Friday night traffic meant we got to the Stone Pony during the final two U2 songs (“One” and “Bullet the Blue Sky”–a rather odd final song I thought).  They sounded good from the street, but I have no real opinion of The Unforgettable Fire.

The place was PACKED and there was no vaccination requirement (good grief).  This is my third Summer Stage show in a few years and honestly, unless there is something really amazing playing there, I don’t think I’d go back.  The crowd is just terrible–filled with drunken Jersey dudes and dudettes.  If this was a band I really wanted to see I’d have been really annoyed by them all.  Fortunately, this was a fun tribute act and I was happy to just kick back and enjoy.  We somehow managed to find our group (amusingly, I told S. to have her friend hold up her phone and wave it.  Immediately someone did and we followed the light only to realize that it wasn’t her friends, but the person standing right next to them–weird). (more…)

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[CANCELLED: July 8, 2020] Parquet Courts / P.E.

indexParquet Courts were scheduled to play Jersey City on April 4.  With the rescheduled dates, they added a show at The Stone Pony, which has now been cancelled.

Parquet Courts was one of the first shows that was postponed because of the coronavirus. They postponed their show by two months.  Needless to say that was very optimistic and they have now cancelled everything.

I had tickets to see them at White Eagle Hall, but the rescheduled date of July 13 wasn’t going to work for me, so I was thinking of going to this show instead (even though White Eagle is 10X better than The Stone Pony).

I’ve seen Parquet Courts twice and enjoyed both shows more than I thought I would.  I wasn’t sure if I’d need to see them again, but when I saw that they were playing White Eagle Hall in Jersey City–a great venue that is pretty close to me, I immediately grabbed tickets.  It then sold out.  And then I found out that our Scout Troop had an even planned that night so I couldn’t go anyway.

So this postponement worked out pretty well.  Except that the rescheduled show is right during out Troop’s Summer Camp.  The Scouts don’t want me to see this band!

Public Practice was supposed to open.  Now the openers were P.E.

P.E. were supposed to open for Pottery back in May  Pottery cancelled their tour and now P.E. is getting cancelled again.

P.E. is a band formed out of the band Pill (who I’ve not heard of but who were a skronky and intense DIY art-punk band).  Three members of Pill have gone on to form P.E.  The song I heard “Top Ticket” was a propulsive thump, strung along by drill whirs and Torres’ snotty deliver: “I want the top ticket/ Nothing average, nothing contrived/ None of that consumer-grade shit.”


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[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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[ATTENDED: April 26, 2018] Built to Spill

This was my third time seeing Built to Spill.  I had seen them as a five-piece and a three-piece.  And this show was another three-piece set up.

I thought it was strange that the drummer’s drums were set up off to the right of the stage instead of in the middle, but that was how they left them.  And, indeed, that’s how they played at Stone Pony with drummer Steve Gere off to the right and bassist Steve Albertini to the left.

The two guys don’t do a ton–that’s not their job.  They are there to anchor whatever Doug feels like doing.  And it’s amazing the way they can adjust to whatever he decides to do–jam, change tempo, whatever.  They’re an amazingly tight band,


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[ATTENDED: September 23, 2017] Pixies

I saw the Pixies live at Giants Stadium in 1989.  They opened for The Cure and played a rollicking set.

I was a huge fan of their original albums and I’ve enjoyed The Breeders and Frank Black’s solo stuff to varying degrees.  I was intrigued when they reunited, but I wasn’t super psyched about it.  I didn’t really love the new songs they released–they were all fine, but I figured either I was past them or they had changed enough to make their new stuff less dramatic.

But when I saw that they were playing at the Stone Pony Summer Stage (the day after Autumn officially began), I thought I might like to go.  The face value  of the tickets was $37, which wasn’t too bad, but somehow after Ticketmaster got involved, the total was $59, which was way too much.  We were near Asbury Park during the summer and I stopped by the Stone Pony to buy a ticket at the box office.  But they were closed! (Closed Tuesdays, apparently).

It turned out that day of the show tickets went up to $52 (!).  Well, I was on the fence, and then while I was trying to find out what time the opening band went on (no official word except that gates opened at 5:30), I came across a ticket for sale on Stubhub for $20.  I’d never bought anything on Stubhub before, because I’d always heard the prices were crazy expensive.  Well, including fees, these tickets were less than face value.  Which is pretty awesome.  And I was all set.

For many people, the dealbreaker (ha) for this show was that original bassist Kim Deal as no longer in the band.  I had heard new bassist Paz Lenchantin and thought she sounded enough like Kim (especially in an outdoor venue) that it wouldn’t be all that noticeable that Kim wasn’t there.  What I didn’t realize and which I respect even if it meant that we lost out, was that they didn’t play any songs that Kim sang lead on.  Paz did all of the backing vocals and sang lead on the one song she sings on the newest album and the encore, but that was it. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 23, 2017] Sunflower Bean

As with most new bands, I first heard about Sunflower Bean on All Songs Considered.  I loved the psychedelic yet punky sound of the song “2013.”  And the entirely of their full length album Human Ceremony is really good–catchy songs with a great vibe.

I was really excited to hear that they were opening for the Pixies show–although I didn’t exactly see how their music would jibe with Pixies songs.

Well, I needn’t have worried.  Sunflower Bean rocks a lot harder live than on the record.  And their set included a number of new, heavier songs that complemented the night well.

Confusingly, this show stated that the Gates opened at 5:30, but they would not say anywhere what time Sunflower Bean went on.  I was sure they wouldn’t start at 5:30.  I assumed they’d start at 6:30, and yet that was still really early for a Saturday night show to end.  Because the day was really busy (Tabby had a piano recital earlier!), I managed to get to Asbury Park at 6:40 and drove around a bit to find a free parking spot.

The timing was perfect because Sunflower Bean went on at 7 and that gave me time to buy an outrageously over priced pretzel ($6) which tasted terrible. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 8, 2016] Built to Spill

2016-10-08-22-25-14Fifteen years ago I saw Sigur Rós.  A few days before that show I was supposed to see Built to Spill, but 9/11 happened and I skipped BtS.  So here it is fifteen years later and I get to see Sigur Rós and BtS a few days apart once again.  I also happened to see Built to Spill almost exactly one year ago today, so it was fun to do it all over again,.

This was my first time in the legendary Stone Pony.  I was shocked by how small it was and how strangely laid out it is (quite wide and not very deep).  I could have been within a few feet of the stage but when I varied I saw that even though the ticket said 7, BtS wasn’t going on until 10, so I scoured the venue and a saw a small riser to the back right.  I went up there and stood in the front of it, effectively three feet above everyone.  And I had a perfect view of the stage, so I stood there the whole time.

And boy am I glad.  The floor scene was a madhouse.  I was right above what was essentially the only way in and our once the club had gotten really packed.  People were squeezing past this small opening all night long.  And during the third song, a fight broke out–punches actually thrown!–because someone got in someone (both men of course) else’s way.  I even beer or something thrown in my face.  Stay classy, Asbury Park.

Unlike the previous show, BtS was only a three-piece.  Last show I marveled at Doug Martsch including two other guitarists to share lead duties, but I loved the fullness of the sound. I wasn’t sure what I would think of the band as a three-piece (my friend Jay informed me of the trio set up a few hours before they went on, so at least I was prepared–although I was bummed that Jay couldn’t make the show).

I was a little unconvinced about the sound of the three-piece when the band started.  But that turned out to be a mixing issue.  The drums were too loud, the bassist was inaudible and then Doug was himself.  But by the second song it was perfectly balanced and sounded amazing.

And once the sound was perfected, it came down to setlist.  And that was amazing–this setlist was almost entirely different from my previous show.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 8, 2016] Alex G

2016-10-08-21-01-11I hadn’t heard of Alex G before this tour.  He is apparently a prodigy of home recordings, starting his self-released oeuvre when he was 17.  (He’s now 23 and looks to be about 15).

For some reason I’d gotten the impression that he was a shredding guitar god type of prodigy.  But he is not.  He’s more of a pop/experimental/lo-fi song-writing-type prodigy.  He reminded me of Car Seat Headrest both in terms of self released prolific-ness and general style.

He counts Elliott Smith (who I don’t hear) and Doug Martsch of Built to Spill (whom I do hear) as influences. In fact during the set, he stated that Built to Spill was the best band alive today. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 8, 2016] J&L Defer

2016-10-08-20-11-43It was raining pretty hard when I left for The Stony Pony.  Doors were at 7, I imagined Alex G (who was billed along with Built to Spill) would go on around 7:30, Built to Spill would go on no later than 9 and I’d be home early.

So I was bummed when I walked in at 7:30 and saw that there was another opening band called J&L Defer and that they would be going on at 8, and that BtS would not be going on until 10.  Ugh.

I assumed that J&L Defer (what a weird name) were some local band.  I was surprised to discover that they were a duo and that they were not there to rock us, but to play some shapeless noodling.  And, as soon as the guitar played a piercing note (opening acts tend to sound worse than the headliner and tend to hurt my ears much more), I got some earplugs. (more…)

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